McNally Jackson and The Onassis Foundation Present A World Poet: On Translating Cavafy, with Daniel Mendelsohn & Jana Prikryl

April 27th
McNally Jackson Seaport
RSVP Required — see below

Celebrated Cavafy scholar and a noted translator of his work Daniel Mendelsohn will engage in conversation with acclaimed poet Jana Prikryl on Cavafy’s stature as a “poet of the world,” which will consider the poet’s biography, the global influences on his work, as well as the art of translation, and the process of bringing his work into another place and time.

This event is part of a series of conversations and in-store activations celebrating C. P. Cavafy's impact on modern poetry, his intellectual legacy, and his identity as a queer man who deftly danced between the ancient world and the modern metropolis. McNally Jackson bookstores will be transformed into living invitations for passers by to discover or reconsider Cavafy and his canon. Through National Poetry Month and the duration of the festival, each of McNally Jackson’s seven city-wide locations from Nolita to Laguardia Airport, will house artfully made tiny poetry libraries, window displays dedicated to the poet and his work, and Cavafy-inspired “Author Picks” curated by Festival artists and partners. A limited number of complimentary totes and commemorative bookmarks will be available for free. 

Learn more at


We recommend that guests wear masks on the night. 



Daniel Mendelsohn is an award-winning memoirist, critic, essayist and translator. A longtime contributor to the New Yorker and New York Review of Books, he has also been a columnist on books, film, TV, and culture for BBC Culture, New York, Harpers, and the New York Times Book Review. His books include the memoirs An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (2017), the internationally bestselling Holocaust family saga The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006), a translation, with commentary, of the Modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, and three collections of essays, most recently Ecstasy and Terror: From the Greeks to Game of Thrones (2019). His tenth book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate, published in September, 2020, was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year and won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize) in France. Mr. Mendelsohn is the Editor-at-Large of the New York Review of Books and the Director of the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, a charitable trust that supports nonfiction writing. He teaches literature at Bard College.




Jana Prikryl was born in the Czech Republic and moved to Canada at the age of six. She is the author of three books of poems, Midwood, The After Party, and No Matter. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Prikryl lives in Brooklyn and is an editor at the New York Review of Books.


RSVP Below

In order to keep our events program running in uncertain times, we're asking attendees to hold their place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the event on any product in store or in our bar & café. You can alternatively reserve a spot by pre-purchasing the event book. If you have a change of heart or plans, write to and we'll gladly refund you and release your spot, up to 24 hours before the event. Thanks for understanding, and for supporting your local bookstore.