Bernard-Marie Koltès

Bernard-Marie Koltès: Seven PlaysEd. Amin Erfani. Martin E. Segal Theater Center Publications. New York (2022). (Amazon)

Book launch for “Bernard-Marie Koltès: Seven Plays” (Martin E. Segal Publications, CUNY) edited and with an introduction by scholar and translator Amin Erfani; at the French Embassy in New York City, 6pm, April 8, 2022; registration required, free to the public:

“The anthology is the first collection of the seven major plays by seminal French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès (1948-1989) in American English. Translated in over thirty languages, Koltès is considered to be the most important French playwright of the end of the twentieth century, and heir to the legacy of Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, Sarah Kane and Heiner Müller. His style is marked by a profusion of poetic language–reshaping traditional theatrical language in both content and form, while exploring new and unknown territories. A fervent traveler, his work was deeply inspired by his exposure to new languages and cultures, particularly from such places as Lagos (Nigeria), São Paulo (Brazil), Tikal (Guatemala), Managua (Nicaragua), New York (United States), and Lisbon (Portugal). His attention was constantly directed toward the figure of the underdog and marginalized communities. But it is in New York that Koltès is said to have found his “place in this world,” and particularly in the gay liberation movement in the late 70s and early 80s. He died at the age of 41 due to complications from the AIDS virus.Despite his significant relationship with the United States, until now no definite anthology of American translations of Koltès existed. This unique volume provides a fresh set of translations that rigorously bring into focus Koltès’ poetic and musical language. “Koltès now sounds like Dante speaking in the voice of Sam Shepard,” wrote The New York Times.

This event will be in English and hosted at Albertine Bookstore. It is free with RSVP.  You can also watch this event on livestream at

Translators for Koltès anthology are: The Night Just Before the Forests (Amin Erfani); Battle of Black and Dogs (Michaël Attias); West Pier (Marion Schoevaert & Theresa M. Weber); In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (Amin Erfani); Tabataba (Amin Erfani); Back to the Desert (Andy Bragen); Roberto Zucco (Anna G.R. Miller)

Short readings of excerpts directed by Amin Erfani and Frank Hentschker; with New York actors Ben Becher, Josefina Scaro, Michael Wiener, will be followed by a conversation with Editor Amin Erfani, a Q & A, and a reception.

The evening is co-presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center CUNY, and Villa Albertine.”


The Night just Before the Forests – Excerpt from Amin Erfani’s new English translation, by author Bernard-Marie Koltès. In Bernard-Marie KoltèsEd. André Petitjean. Editions Universitaires de Dijon, June 4, 2014, pp. 271-288. 

The Night Just Before the Forests – Video Excerpt; author: Bernard-Marie Koltès; mise en scène : Philip Boulay. actor : Isma’il Ibn Conner. translation and artistic collaboration : Amin Erfani; théâtre du saulcy (metz). date : october 18, 2012

« Traduire L’étrangeté de la langue : The Night Just Before The Forests ». In Bernard-Marie KoltèsEd. André Petitjean. Editions Universitaires de Dijon, June 4, 2014, pp. 265-270.

Note de traduction; The Night Just Before the Forests, play by Bernard-Marie Koltès

Mama Mama Mama – Koltès; video based on a reading of The Night Just Before the Forests by Isma’il Ibn Conner

Tabataba – Excerpt from Amin Erfani’s English translation, by author Bernard-Marie Koltès