Helene Cardona

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Helene Cardona for my KRUU radio show, Irving Toast, Poetry Ghost. Not only is Helene a fine poet, you’ve also seen her on-screen in popular movies like Chocolat.

A citizen of the United States, France and Spain, Hélène Cardona is a poet, actor and translator. She is fluent in French, Spanish, English, German, Italian and Greek.

She studied English Philology in Cambridge, England; Spanish at the International Universities of Santander and Baeza, Spain; and German at the Goethe Institute in Bremen, Germany.

She attended Hamilton College, New York, where she also taught French and Spanish, and the Sorbonne, Paris, where she wrote her thesis on Henry James for her Master’s in American Literature.

Hélène was a teacher at the École Active Bilingue in Paris and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

She worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy and the French Chamber of Commerce. She translated the Lawrence Bridges film Muse of Fire into French for the NEA, What We Carry by Dorianne Laux, poems by Eloise Klein Healy, Sholeh Wolpe and John FitzGerald, and the poetry of her father José Manuel Cardona. Hélène has been guest lecturer at Brown University and U.C. Irvine, featured poetry reader at the L.A. Times Festival of Books and on national radio.

She is the author of the bilingual poetry collection The Astonished Universe. Her poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Mythic Passages, The American Center for Artists, Askew, Spillway and Pirene’s Journal.

Among her many film credits, Hélène played the role of Fuffi in CHOCOLAT and Candy Heskin In Larry Kasdan’s MUMFORD, and voiced roles in INCEPTION, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, THE PINK PANTHER etc. She co-wrote with director Peter Chelsom and composer Alan Silvestri the song “Lucienne,” which she also sang.