I am a writer, editor, and literary translator working between English and Swedish. The recipient of grants from the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Swedish Arts Council, and others, I have a particular interest in writing that lifts voices and perspectives outside the mainstream. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, I have lived in Helsinki, Paris, and Montréal; New York City has been my home for the past decade. 

I serve on the editorial board for Glänta, a Swedish magazine of arts and politics, and am an active member of SELTA, ALTA, and STINA. I am always interested in new projects. Get in touch! kira [.] josefsson [a] gmail [.] com

translations


  • Antiquity by Hanna Johansson

    “A sumptuous gaze on desire between women and the full spectrum of attraction that exists beyond the strictures of heteronormativity, and thus beyond easily legible categories. This queer Lolita story is as sensual as it is disturbing, as gorgeous as it is complicated, probing the depths of memory, power, and the narratives that arrange our experience of the world.”
    Forthcoming on Catapult, 2024.

  • Cover of Johanna Hedman's The Trio, translated by Kira Josefsson

    The Trio by Johanna Hedman

    “Like the love child of Normal People and Brideshead Revisited. A sublime and elegiac mediation on love, intimacy, freedom and jealousy […] Hedman’s writing (and Josefsson’s stunning translation) is staggeringly beautiful.” – Francesca Reece, author of ‘Voyeur’
    Forthcoming on Hamish Hamilton, July 2022.

  • “They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears” by Farnaz Arbabi

    Farnaz Arbabi’s screenplay for Unga Klara, based on Johannes Anyuru’s book with the same name.
    For Unga Klara, 2020. Photo by Mats Bäcker.

  • Close to Birds by Mats and Åsa Ottoson, translated by Kira Josefsson

    Close to Birds by Mats and Åsa Ottosson

    Essays by Mats Ottosson and Åsa Ottosson, with photographs by Roine Magnusson.
    Published by Roost Books in 2019.

    “[The translation is] outstanding . . . Graceful, warm, and idiomatic.” – WHRO Media

original writing


  • “What’s So Hard About Crediting Translators?”

    “Beyond credit where credit is due, acknowledging the translator points at the cracks in the apparently smooth surface of how a story is told. Isn’t that where it gets even more interesting?”
    Vulture, December 2021.

  • Excerpt from essay about the September 11-museum by Kira Josefsson.

    “11 september-museet är en skräckens teater”

    “Denna allt överskuggande känsla av förlust och harm hänger löst i ett historiskt vakuum. Och varje år reser sig två spöktorn mot New Yorks himmel.”
    Göteborgs-Posten, 2021.

  • Cover of spring 2021 issue of Glänta, containing Kira Josefsson's essay "Rättvisa utan fängelse och polis".

    “Rättvisa utan fängelse och polis”

    “Aldrig tidigare hade så många öppet ifrågasatt det fängelseindustriella komplexet – ett system som kommit att definiera USA.”
    Lång essä i Glänta om protesterna sommaren 2020 och en anrik aktivistisk tradition som rekonstruera hur vi ser på själva rättvisebegreppet.

    Skriven med stöd av Västra Götalandsregionens essäfond, publicerad våren 2021.

  • “Rapport från fattig-Amerika”

    ”’Jag vet inte ens hur det känns att kunna lita på att staten ska ta hand om en’, säger J, precis som jag i trettioårsåldern men uppväxt i djupt republikanska Indiana. ‘Jag har aldrig upplevt lugnet i att vara säker på att man får sjukvård om man är sjuk.’
    Svenska Dagbladet, maj 2020.

editing / collaborations


  • Åke Hodell’s The Marathon Poet, Translated by Fia Backström

    I edited Fia Backström’s translation of Swedish avant-garde poet Åke Hodell’s The Marathon Poet, published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2020.

  • Picture of Göran Dahlberg's Ghost Life, translated by Kira Josefsson.

    Ghost Life – Hauntings in the Society of Spectres by Göran Dahlberg

    I edited Göran Dahlberg’s chapbook essay “Ghost Life – Hauntings in the Society of Spectres”, published by Multimedijalni institut, Zagreb, as part of their 2020 Vectors of Collective Imaginations series.

  • Cover for chapbook It Was Over When You Said What

    It Was Over When You Said What

    Twelve writers furrow the texture of the months, days, and heartbeats when they realized it was over––and the swirl of contradictory emotions that come after the break. Do you believe in life after love?
    Edited with Rider Alsop and designed by Sara Duell. Published by Topos Press in 2017.

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