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


  • The Trio by Johanna Hedman

    Full-length sample sold at auction. Forthcoming from Hamish Hamilton, summer 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

  • “Araben” by Pooneh Rohi

    “He pulls up his shoulders against the cold and tries to clear his mind, tries to think about something else, tries to feel something else, but it’s impossible. The other country is insistent within him. It pushes against his ribs, pulses with his heart.”
    Excerpt of the PEN/Heim winning translation in Granta, 2017.

original writing


  • 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.

  • Swedish conscripts standing on a field in hazy light, photographed by Loulou d'Aki.

    “The New Guard”

    “It might come as a surprise that a nation which has been at peace for longer than any other on earth has such a strong tradition of conscription. But Sweden’s peace is of the militarized kind.”
    Topic, 2018.

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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