Hilary Vaughn Dobel

Hilary Vaughn Dobel

Poet, Writer, Translator





Hilary was born in Seattle and lives in Massachusetts, where she is a candidate for an MSW in clinical social work at Boston College. Her poetry and Spanish-to-English translations have appeared in PloughsharesKenyon Review OnlineBoston Review, and the New York Times. She is the translator of Nine Coins by Carlos Pintado (Akashic Books) and The Clouds by Juan José Saer (Open Letter Books).

Hilary holds an AB from Princeton University and an MFA from Columbia University and has been invited to lecture at Princeton and at Wellesley College. She has received fellowships from University of Chicago, the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is an editor-at-large for Circumference: Poetry in Translation


Find her on Twitter and Instagram @hvdobes, or at hilaryvdobel [at] gmail [dot] com. Or, fill out the form under “Contact.”






selected Poems online

Two Poems, The Raleigh Review vol 9.1, Spring 2019

Aubade, wildness issue 15, August 2018

Stay with the Body MISTRESS issue 5, July 2017

CalotypeTriQuarterly issue 152, July 2017

ChatrouletteGulf Coast Online Exclusive, July 2016

Three Poemsvisceral brooklyn, April 2016

Four PoemsBlunderbuss, June 2015

Kids These DaysBoston Review, April 2015, National Poetry Month Poem-a-Day 2015

It’s Not Science, But It’s About to BeSixth Finch, Fall 2014

Two PoemsThe Cortland Review, February 2014

Two PoemsPhantom Limb, Spring 2013

On the Distance of the Painter’s ArmKenyon Review Online, Spring 2013

Metaphor for SomethingGuernica, Spring 2012

selected poems on paper

Involuntary Memory, Prairie Schooner, Summer 2019

Athlete, Colorado Review, Summer 2017

Annual, A Public Space, Winter 2013-2014

Rugby for Lovers, Cimarron Review, Fall 2013

Epistle, Mid-American Review, Spring 2013

Two Poems, Ploughshares, Winter 2012-2013

Messerschmidt Poems, Seattle Review, Fall 2012


“On Three Odysseys.” Practice Catalog, June 2018.

Jay Deshpande, Love the Stranger (YesYes Books, 2015).  Reviewed for Los Angeles Review of Books, January 2018. 

Matt Rasmussen, Black Aperture (LSU Press, 2013). Reviewed for Parnassus: Poetry in Review, June 2014.

Brenda Shaughnessy, Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon, 2012). Reviewed for The Boston Review, March 2014.






The clouds, juan josé saer

Out now from Open Letter Books. Please support small presses by purchasing directly from the publisher!

One of NPR‘s 5 Best Books in Translation for 2016: “The Clouds is a poem to be savored.”

Publisher’s Weekly: “In this wonderful, gleeful novel from Argentinian author Saer…”

Paste: 21 of the Best New Translated Novels

Publisher’s Weekly: 10 Essential Spanish-Language Books

Wall Street Journal: “[I]t’s a wild, vividly imagined travelogue on its own terms...”

World Literature Today‘s Summer Reads 2016: “For a tragicomic trip in Proustian style.”

Literary Hub’s 16 Books You Should Read This May: “All this and more makes each new Saer novel in translation a treat and a triumph.”

Cleaver Magazine: “There’s brilliance here.”

Rain Taxi: "In Hilary Vaughn Dobel's excellent English version of the text, Juan José Saer visits us from an era that is like and unlike our own..."

nine coins, carlos pintado

winner of the National Poetry Series’ 2014 Paz Prize for Poetry, now available in a bilingual edition from Akashic Press

One of World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations for 2015

“The Moon” selected by US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey for publication in the New York Times

This poem, translated from the original Spanish, unfolds as a litany of the many ways the moon has been described. One long, complex sentence links all the previous iterations, while a second, much shorter sentence isolates the image of yet another moon. The prose-poem form seems to contain the patch of night sky from which that new apprehension—the moon reflected in the vision of a solitary witness, the poem’s speaker—arrives.







news and events


Contrary Magazine
Fall 2018

Poets’ Corner w/ Neil Silberblatt
WOMR 92.1 FM, February 6, 2017

Shankpainter Magazine (video interview)
Spring 2017

Past Readings

Context and Exile: Translating Juan José Saer
April 17, 2017
144 Simpson Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

We’re all Created Equal Parts Stardust tour
In support of Keegan Lester’s This Shouldn’t Be Beautiful But It Was All I Had So I Drew It (Slope Editions, 2017)
February 2, 2017, Provincetown Public Library, Provincetown, MA

Fellows’ Reading w/ Michael Deagler
January 14, 2017, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
See video from the reading here.

U35 Reading Series w/ Walter Smelt and Daniel Jackson
November 29, 2016, The Marliave, Boston, MA

Circumference Reading Series (host)
October 1, 2015, 501 Dodge at Columbia University, New York, NY


Contact Me

If you’d like to get in touch with me about a freelance writing or translation assignment, editorial work, or about my creative work, please fill out the form below.

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