Martha translates both prose and poetry from Italian. She works with a co-translator—her husband, Antonio Romani. Her co-translations of poems by Giampiero Neri have appeared in such journals as West Branch, PEN America, Atlanta Review, AGNI, and A Public Space. Her co-translation of an essay by Beniamino Groppali appears in Consequence, and of an essay by Elisabetta Rasy in A Public Space.

Martha’s co-translation of Antonio Tabucchi’s story collection Time Ages in a Hurry (Archipelago Books, 2015) was praised by the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and others. Individual translations of Tabucchi’s stories have appeared in Tin House, The Common, The Massachusetts Review, Two Lines, Guernica, and AGNI.

Martha’s co-translations of three Italian poets—Giampiero Neri, Aldo Nove, and Giovanni Orelli—are forthcoming in Those Who From Afar Look Like Flies (Vol. 4, Tome 2), to be published by the University of Toronto Press in 2017.

Martha was the judge of the Translation Prize for Poetry awarded by PEN American Center in 2011.

“It takes time, struggle, and love to translate a poem. There’s no one way to do it; there are as many ways as there are poems. The act is an improvisation, a show of faith, a display of boldness. Two different poetic languages representing two different ways of experiencing the world: these might at first seem essentially incompatible, perhaps even warring—but they’re not.” (Hopeful Tussles: Martha Cooley on Poetry in Translation)
See more of her thoughts on the process of translating poetry, as well as some suggested further reading-in-translation here at PEN American Center.