David Larsen is the author of the poetry collection The Thorn
(Faux Press, 2005). His translation of Names of the Lion
by Ibn Khalawayh (Wave Books, 2017) was selected by Ammiel Alcalay as the winner of the 2018 Harold Landon Morton Award
About Larsen's winning translation, Alcalay writes:
Among a shortlist of superb translations of major works, David Larsen’s rendition from Arabic of al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh’s tenth-century Names of the Lion stands out for its meticulous, uncompromising, and idiosyncratic attempt to forge a poetics within which a text like this can find some footing. Essentially a list of more than 300 names for lion, surrounded by an elaborate apparatus that feels, at times, like a Borges story, Larsen provides a clear window into the vast world of classical Arabic lexicography, biography, and literary criticism. While the primary text may appear almost unlikely, Larsen’s construction of the apparatus in which it is embedded is an act of both deep scholarship and innovative poetics that, like the fate of the lion itself, is a tale of survival.
Larsen is a professor of Liberal Studies at New York University in New York City.