Samuel Frederick is the author of Narratives Unsettled: Digression in Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and Adalbert Stifter (Northwestern University Press, 2012). He is an assistant professor of German at the Pennsylvania State University. With Graham Foust he has translated three volumes of poetry by Ernst Meister, including In Time’s Rift (Wave Books, 2012), Wallless Space (Wave Books, 2014), which was shortlisted for ALTA's National Poetry in Translation Award, and Of Entirety Say the Sentence (Wave Books, 2015). He has most recently translated Meister's Uncollected Later Poems 1968-1979 (forthcoming, November 2023).
...Frederick’s translations have a wonderful lapidary style in which every word is the subject of thought; in which it’s possible to trace the clean, careful steps of the mind...
Amanda DeMarco, Readux
Poetry translation is such tricky and unappreciated work—“translation is impossible,” Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick declare in their introduction to a volume of Ernst Meister's work in which they've performed that exact miracle.
Arielle Greenberg, American Poetry Review
The translators of Wallless Space were brave to take on Meister’s dense and unusual poetry, and so far their work has been excellent. … Foust and Frederick have preserved the phonetic elements of Meister’s verse—assonance, alliteration, rhyme, anaphora—without sacrificing the poet’s distilled diction and powerfully short dimeter and trimeter lines.
Christopher Shannon, Words without Borders
With precision, Foust and Frederick intone Meister’s philosophical and poetic torque, dialing in on the underlying struggle: the elusive, expanding surplus of time; the baffling dissonance keyed into life.
Douglas Piccinnini, The Volta
Meister's poetry, very often, seems to be composed of small words, short ones, shaped by only a few letters – but the short words are not necessarily suitable to be spoken quickly, in passing, rather they obstruct fast reading, they seem to become long words, they expand.
Peter Waterhouse, a Perimeter
Reviews of books translated by Samuel Frederick
Of Entirety Say the Sentence
In Time's Rift
Poems in translation
- Poem by Ernst Meister (at the Academy of American Poets)