Transference Seeks Submissions for Fall 2017 Issue

Transference invites submissions of poetry translated into English from Arabic, Chinese, French, Old French, German, Classical Greek, Latin, or Japanese. Along with the translated poem(s), translators should also submit a commentary on the translation process, addressing particular challenges posed by the text or specific translation choices.

Please submit no more than four poems at a time, unless they are extremely short. Read previous issues and our submission guidelines at and submit there. However, if the online submission system is problematic for any reason, submissions may also be sent directly to Submissions are evaluated in a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions for the fall 2017 issue are currently being accepted.

Transference is published by faculty in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University. Questions may be sent to Molly Lynde-Recchia at

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Meet the 2017-2018 Emerging Translator Mentors!

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is approximately one year. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in a year’s time, and they will only be advised on that particular project.

In addition to language-specific mentorships in Catalan, Korean (prose and poetry), and Russian, ALTA is also offering two non-language-specific mentorships this year. Meet the mentors here!

Mara Faye Lethem
has translated novels from Catalan by Jaume Cabré, Albert Sánchez Piñol, Marc Pastor, Toni Sala, and Alicia Kopf, among others. Her work has been recognized by an English PEN Award and two International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominations.

Don Mee Choi
is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) and The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010). She also translates contemporary Korean women’s poetry. She has received a Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Fellowship, and Lucien Stryk Translation Prize.

Sora Kim-Russell is a literary translator based in Seoul. Her translations include Shin Kyung-sook’s I’ll Be Right There (Other Press, 2014), Gong Ji-young’s Our Happy Time (Short Books, 2014), Bae Suah’s Nowhere to Be Found (AmazonCrossings, 2015), and Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari (Periscope, 2015).

Marian Schwartz is a freelance translator Russian classic and contemporary fiction, a
past president of the American Literary Translators Association, and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowships and the 2014 Read Russia Prize for Contemporary Russian Literature.

Bill Johnston is Henry Remak Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. He has published about thirty book-length translations from the Polish, including poetry, prose, and drama. His most recent translation is Tomasz Różycki’s mock epic poem Twelve Stations (Zephyr Press, 2015).

If you are interested in applying to be an ALTA Emerging Translator, please refer to our online portal.

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ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is Now Accepting Applications!

  • Mentorships in Catalan, Korean poetry and prose, and Russian prose
  • Non-language-specific mentorships, one in poetry and one in prose
  • Book-length project to be completed during mentorship year
  • Projects to be presented at ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions (October 5-8, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN)

ALTA is pleased to announce that applications are open for the third year of the ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship program!

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is approximately one year. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in a year’s time, and they will only be advised on that particular project.

The mentor and mentee will meet at the beginning of their mentorship at the annual ALTA conference, and continue their work during the rest of the mentorship year, either in person, over Skype, or by phone as appropriate. A minimum of six meetings is expected for the course of the year. The mentorship will conclude with a presentation of the mentee’s work in a reading corresponding with National Translation Month. A number of magazine editors have agreed to review submissions directly from mentees at the end of their mentorship year, and to work with them on potential future projects. The award covers travel to the ALTA conference at the beginning of the mentorship.

The program is open to emerging translators at no cost to them. An emerging translator is someone who has published no more than one full length work of translation. MFA and MA students in translation can apply, but priority may be given to those who do not have access to the kind of guidance already present in a translation degree program. Though English is the target language, the emerging translator need not live in the United States. The selected mentee’s proposed project will be worked on based on availability (applicants are not expected to secure rights for their proposal).

This program is distinct from the ALTA Travel Fellowships. Applicants may apply to both programs in the same year, but only may only receive one award. Previous years’ Fellows are welcome to apply for the Mentorship.


Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2017. The selected mentees will be announced in July.

Applications must be submitted through our online submission platform, and must include:

  • CV
  • A project proposal of no more than 1000 words. Projects must be reasonably expected to be completed within the scope of the 1-year mentorship. Proposals should include information about the original author and importance of the source text, as well as how the emerging translator would benefit from mentorship. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.
  • A sample translation of 8-10 pages double spaced (prose or poetry), along with the corresponding source text. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.

Make sure to fill out the correct application form – see the descriptions below.

2017-2018 Language-Specific Mentorships are available working from the following languages:

  • Catalan, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem
  • Korean prose, with mentor Sora Kim-Russell
  • Korean poetry, with mentor Don Mee Choi
  • Russian, with mentor Marian Schwartz

These mentorships are being offered by ALTA in partnership with the Institut Ramon Llull, the Literary Translation Institute of Korea, and the Russian Federation Institute of Literary Translation.

APPLY HERE for a 2017-2018 Language-Specific Mentorship in Catalan, Korean, or Russian.

2017-2018 Non-Language-Specific Mentorships are available as follows:

  • Prose, with mentor Bill Johnston
  • Poetry, with mentor TBD

Additional details about Non-Language-Specific Mentorships:

  • These mentorships will be preferentially awarded to a translator working from an underrepresented or underfunded language.
  • Preference will not be given to projects from the mentor’s language.
  • Projects may not be proposed from languages already offered in language-specific mentorships (i.e. Catalan, Korean, or Russian).
  • AmazonCrossing will be granted right of first refusal on the completed manuscript resulting from these two mentorships.

These mentorships are being offered by ALTA in partnership with AmazonCrossing and the Amazon Literary Partnership.

APPLY HERE for a 2017-2018 Non-Language-Specific Mentorship in Poetry or Prose

Please contact Assistant Managing Director Rachael Daum with any questions:

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Meet the 2017 Judges for the ALTA Travel Fellowships!

Each year, between four and six $1,000 fellowships are awarded to emerging (unpublished or minimally published) translators to help them pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference.

At the conference, ALTA Fellows are invited to read their translated work at a keynote event, giving them an opportunity to present their translations to an audience of translators, authors, editors, and publishers from around the world. Applications to the ALTA Travel Fellowship are being accepted until April 7, 2017.

The judges for the 2017 ALTA Travel Fellowships are Dick Cluster, Sara Nović, and Sebastian Schulman. Learn more about them below:

Dick Cluster, based in Oakland, California, is editor/translator of the just-released Kill the Ámpaya!: Best Latin American Baseball Fiction. His specialty in Cuban fiction translation includes novels by Mylene Fernández Pintado and Abel Prieto, story collections by Pedro de Jesús and Aida Bahr, and the anthology CUBANA: Contemporary Fiction by Cuban Women (with Cindy Schuster). Cluster’s translation of Ecuadoran novelist Gabriela Alemán’s Poso Wells will be published by City Lights Books in 2018. He has also translated poetry and scholarship from the Caribbean, Mexico, Colombia, and Spain. In original fiction, he has published a three-book detective series, and in historical nonfiction, The History of Havana (with Rafael Hernández) and They Should Have Served that Cup of Coffee.

sara-novic_travel-fellowshipsSara Nović is the fiction editor at Blunderbuss Magazine and teaches at Columbia University, the New School’s Eugene Lang College, and with the Words After War writing workshop. She holds an MFA from Columbia, where she studied fiction and literary translation, and lives in Brooklyn. Nović was an ALTA Fellow and winner of the Barnstone Literary Translation Prize in 2014. Girl at War, her first novel, is out from Random House and Little, Brown UK, and is forthcoming in thirteen more languages.

Sebastian Schulman is a literary translator from Yiddish, Esperanto, and other languages,sebastian-schulman_travel-fellowships and a PhD candidate in Jewish History at Indiana University. The former director of translation initiatives at the Yiddish Book Center, he regularly teaches course in Yiddish language and culture, and Jewish and Russian history at Hampshire and Smith Colleges. Sebastian’s first book-length translation, of Spomenka Stimec’s Esperanto-language novel Croatian War Nocturnal is due with Phoneme Media in spring 2017.

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Meet the 2017 Judges for the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation!

The Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation is given to an unpublished book-length manuscript of poetry in translation. It includes a $1,000 prize and publication by White Pine Press.

Submissions to the Cliff Becker Book Prize are open until April 7, 2017.

The judges for the Becker Prize this year are Anthony Anemone, Diana Thow, and Joanna Trzeciak Huss. Learn more about them below:

anthony-anenome_beckerHaving studied Slavic Languages and Literatures at Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley, Anthony Anemone has taught at Colby College, The College of William and Mary, and, since 2006, The New School, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Literary Studies. A specialist in modern Russian literature and cinema, he teaches a wide range of courses on Chekhov, Nabokov, Slavic Science Fiction, Terrorism in Modern Literature and Cinema, Russian and World Cinema, as well as the theory and practice of literary translation. In addition to numerous articles on Russian literature from the 18th to the 20th century and on modern Russian cinema, Anemone is the editor of Just Assassins: The Culture of Russian Terrorism (Northwestern UP, 2010) and the editor and co-translator, with Peter Scotto, of The Notebooks and Diaries of Daniil Kharms (Academic Studies Press, 2013), chosen the best Literary Translation for 2013-2014 by the Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (ATSEEL). At present he is writing a monograph on the life and films of the Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov.

Diana Thow’s translation of Amelia Rosselli’s Hospital Series is forthcoming with Otis diana-thow_beckerPress/Seismicity Books in 2017. Her co-translation, with Gian Maria Annovi, of Rosselli’s Impromptu was published in 2014 by Guernica Editions.  Her co-translation, with Sarah Stickney, of Elisa Biagini’s The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions, 2013) won the Best Translated Book Award in 2014.  She holds an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa, and is a currently doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

joanna-trzeciak_beckerJoanna Trzeciak Huss is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at Kent State University. Her translations have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, TLS, Harpers, The Atlantic, and Paris Review.  Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisława Szymborska, was awarded the Heldt Translation Prize.  Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Różewicz, shortlisted for the Griffin Prize, received the Found in Translation Award and the AATSEEL Award for Best Scholarly Translation. From 2014 to 2017 she served as a juror for the AATSEEL Award for Best Translation into English.  Joanna has been the recipient of IREX, NEH and Fulbright fellowships.

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