About Us

Stories are cars, ships, airplanes, time machines. They are magic pills that break boundaries and widen perspectives. It’s through stories that we understand ourselves and the world around us. Thanks to the Internet everyone has a microphone, but mainstream culture’s loudspeakers are drowning out many languages and perspectives. Underpass is an exit ramp to niches of the world that don't usually make the international "trending" list.

As an online home for literature in translation, we publish short fiction and narrative nonfiction that has been translated into English from small or marginalized language groups. Underpass primarily focuses on literature translated from Slavic languages with a particular emphasis on modern Croatian literature.



Terra Chapek, editor in chief, put her background in journalism, editing, marketing, and book publishing to work to found Underpass in 2015. She fell in love with translated literature at Ooligan Press and went on to work for another publisher of translations, University of Nebraska Press. Along with leading all things editorial for Underpass, she works in educational publishing as a writer and editor.


Jelena Primorac, founding co-editor, is a translator, proofreader, copywriter, and owner of Speak Up! English language program, who grew up in the U.S. and has mostly been living in Zagreb since college. She is coauthor of Flirting in Croatian – A Vacationer’s Guide and her writing has been featured on tourism blogs, academic web pages, and in print in Time Out Croatia magazine. She currently writes a language and communication blog for Večernji list, one of Croatia's leading daily papers and is writing a book for Croatian EFL students.


Daria Smirnova, Russian editor, a Ph.D. student of the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Oregon. She is spending her academic leave in St. Petersburg, the city she considers her home in Russia. Moving between Oregon and Petersburg, between countries and languages, for the last 7 years contributes to her study of bilingual authors of Russian origin such as Nabokov and Brodsky and her fascination with the theory and practice of translation.


[Your name here] We are based out of the Portland, Oregon, but we are always looking for new “in-country,” bilingual editors, translators, or translated literature enthusiasts who can help navigate the writing landscape in new countries and help with communications and editing. If you are one of those people, let’s talk. Contact us at editor@underpass.co.