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Tiina Aleman (US)

Photo: Tony Iannotti
Photo: Tony Iannotti

Tiina Aleman is a poet, translator, and editor. She was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1958. Her mother's family immigrated to the United States from Estonia after the Second World War and her father was born in Panama. An only child, she grew up with her maternal grandparents on a farm in upstate New York and as a result, Estonian was her first language. Since the mid-1980s, she has been a frequent visitor to Estonia. She has participated in poetry readings and performance art projects in a variety of venues in the New York City area and in 2009, a selection of her poetry was published in Mosaic. Doris Kareva's translations of her poetry have been published in Estonia. Tiina Aleman has translated three volumes of Kareva's poetry, as well as an essay and a number of individual poems, some of which have appeared in The Iowa Review, Dragonfire, Words without Borders and ELM.

Since 2008, she has been working with the Berlin-based Estonian composer, Juri Reinvere, as translator and translation editor. She has translated an essay-length biography of Reinvere and an essay about his work, The Art of Grieving by Sofi Oksanen. She has edited the libretti of three of his operas and an essay about his music by Gerhard Locke. Two of Aleman's book reviews have appeared in Commonweal magazine, where she has worked since 1997 as production editor. She lives in Jersey City with husband Tony Iannotti and their two cats.