Rika Lesser

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Rika Lesser (born 1953 Brooklyn, New York) is a U.S. poet, and is a translator of Swedish and German literary works.


Lesser earned her bachelor's degree at Yale University in 1974. She studied at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden from 1974 to 1975 and received her MFA from Columbia University in 1977.[1] She has produced three collections of her own poetry, including Etruscan Things (1983), and her prose translations include A Living Soul by P. C. Jersild and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.


In 1982, she was awarded the Landon Poetry Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and received the Poetry Translation Prize of the Swedish Academy in 1996 and in 2003.



  • Growing back: poems, 1972-1992. University of South Carolina Press. 1997. ISBN 978-1-57003-233-2.
  • All we need of hell: poems. University of North Texas Press. 1995. ISBN 978-0-929398-92-1.
  • Etruscan things: poems. G. Braziller. 1983. ISBN 978-0-8076-1058-9.



  1. ^ International Who's Who in Poetry 2005. Routledge. 2004. pp. 930–931. ISBN 978-1857432695.