J. Kates is a poet, literary translator, and the president and co-director of Zephyr Press. He has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation for the Selected Poems of Mikhail Yeryomin (White Pine Press, 2014).
He has published three chapbooks of his own poems: Mappemonde (Oyster River Press), Metes and Bounds (Accents Publishing), and The Old Testament (Cold Hub Press) and a full book, The Briar Patch (Hobblebush Books). He is the translator of The Score of the Game and An Offshoot of Sense by Tatiana Shcherbina; Say Thank You and Level with Us by Mikhail Aizenberg; When a Poet Sees a Chestnut Tree and Secret Wars by Jean-Pierre Rosnay; Corinthian Copper by Regina Derieva; Live by Fire by Aleksey Porvin; Thirty-nine Rooms, by Nikolai Baitov; Genrikh Sapgir’s Psalms, and most recently Muddy River, a selection of poems by Sergey Stratanovsky. He is the translation editor of Contemporary Russian Poetry, and the editor of In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russian Poetry in a New Era. A former president of the American Literary Translators Association, he is also the co-translator of four books of Latin American poetry.