Translation Panels at AWP18!

November 13, 2017—The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference is just a few months away! AWP18 will be taking place March 7-10, 2018 in Tampa, FL, and you know you won’t want to miss out on all the translation fun happening there—including 5 ALTA-sponsored panels (marked in blue)! Check them out here:


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Toad Press International Chapbook Series Celebrates 15 Years of Translation
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 23, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R134. Toad Press International Chapbook Series Celebrates 15 Years of Translation. (Genevieve Kaplan, Seth Michelson, Paul Cunningham, Tiffany Higgins, Alexis Almeida) The Toad Press International chapbook series is proud to celebrate its 15th year publishing literary translation. Join the press’s publisher, alongside translators and authors, for a reading and discussion celebrating the exciting and necessary work of contemporary literary translation. Featured translators continue to publish widely, working from languages including Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Kenyon Review Translates!
10:30 am to 11:45 am—Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R165. Kenyon Review Translates!. (Elizabeth Lowe, Catherine Dent, Rachel Galvin, Katherine Hedeen, Lynn Palermo) Join Kenyon Review translation editors along with translators of both poetry and prose to showcase the journal’s latest publications in translation. The panel will include discussion on translation as creative writing and as authorship. We will look at what editors are seeking when choosing texts to publish and what translators do when submitting, as well as comment on the translation process and end with a brief reading of some of the accepted work.

A Celebration of Edmund Keeley: Colossus of Greek Letters
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Room 23, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R196. A Celebration of Edmund Keeley: Colossus of Greek Letters. (Willis Barnstone, Karen Emmerich, Tony Barnstone, Kathleen Crown, Aliki Barnstone) More than anyone, Edmund Keeley’s translations of Cavafy, Elytis, Ritsos, Seferis, and others made Modern Greek poetry widely known, profoundly influencing literature in English. Poet and translators will discuss Keeley’s impact and career—his poetry, fiction, memoir, criticism, and founding of the Modern Greek Studies Association. Keeley will cap the event with a reading.

We Are a Helix, We Survive: Calypso Authors Read Poetry, Prose, and Translation from Angel Island to the American South
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm—Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
• R207. We Are a Helix, We Survive: Calypso Authors Read Poetry, Prose, and Translation from Angel Island to the American South . (Jan Freeman, Jeff Leong, Margaret McMullen, Carrie Meadows, Robin Davidson) Calypso writers read from their new books, shattering silences imposed by natural disaster, racism, genocide, homophobia, and the confinements of place, family, morality. From outsider artists of the South to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina to a Chinese immigrant detainees at Angel Island, CA, and intractable losses of community, identity, home—these writers offer transcendent observations of the continuum of human experience. We are a helix.

Telling the Whole Truth: Refracting Languages and Perspectives That Are Rarely Translated
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm—Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R212. Telling the Whole Truth: Refracting Languages and Perspectives That Are Rarely Translated. (Aviya Kushner , Niloufar Talebi, Diana Arterian, Lida Nosrati) The term “world literature” can be misleading—so many languages are left out. As translators of languages that rarely appear in English, we are concerned that even ardent advocates of world literature are participating in marginalization. Middle Eastern voices, female, and working-class perspectives are often rare and deeply misunderstood. Translators of such voices discuss how to carve out a rightful and nonfetishized space and advocate for change.

Translating Blackness
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm—Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R228. Translating Blackness, Sponsored by ALTA. (John Keene, Lawrence Schimel, Kristin Dykstra, Tiffany Higgins, Aaron Coleman) This panel refers to a widely read 2016 commentary by John Keene, who challenged the literary world to support more translations of works by African and African diasporic writers. Our panel features translators who recently brought out works from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We’ll discuss insights on language, culture, and power from these books. As a group, we ask what becomes audible through translation’s close listening, and how a translator’s identity and strategies matter.

Halo-Halo: What Goes into the Successful Global Conference?
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R251. Halo-Halo: What Goes into the Successful Global Conference?. (Tim Tomlinson, Jacqueline Bishop, Fan Dai, Sanaz Fotouhi) Halo-halo is a dessert of many ingredients. It translates, roughly, as “mixed together,” or (mistakenly) “mixed up.” Both translations might apply to the global workshop/conference. What goes into the creation and execution of the successful global conference? How does the conference ensure a little energy, a little synergy, a little craft, a little theory, while at the same time providing flavorful measures of local experience?

Experiments in Joy: Women of Color on Collaborating On and Off the Page
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 17, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• R254. Experiments in Joy: Women of Color on Collaborating On and Off the Page. (Gabrielle Civil, Zetta Elliott, Rosamond S. King, Janice Lee, Michelle Naka Pierce) Although often solitary, writing today invites and requires collaboration. From jump-starting process to navigating practicalities, collaboration can be cowriting, coaching, editing, translating, publishing, performing, or working with illustrators. Arriving from poetry, fiction, memoir, and children’s literature, women of color speakers will present fruits of their labor and share what works for them in working with others. Each has collaborated on more than one project, on and off the page.

Translation—Not Really; Immigration—Not Exactly: Teaching Creative Writing in a Second Language
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Grand Salon C, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
• R263. Translation—Not Really; Immigration—Not Exactly: Teaching Creative Writing in a Second Language. (Yasmin Ramirez, Laura Cesarco Eglin, Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, Daniel Ríos-Lopera, Minerva Laveaga) As immigrants, writers, and professors, panelists will share how bilingualism shapes their creative writing classes, the unique language landscape, form, and diversity that emerge from multiculturalism. They will explore the experiences and challenges of teaching students in their non-native tongue, and when the professor him/herself is teaching in a second language. The panel will also look into the politics of writing, such as those of being un/documented, and the negotiation between cultures.

Instructions Not Included: A Roundtable on Collaborative Translation
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
• R270. Instructions Not Included: A Roundtable on Collaborative Translation. (Derek Mong, Anne Fisher, Aviva Kana, Eleanor Goodman, Elisabeth Jaquette) Collaborative translation occurs in many combinations of native speaker, non-native speaker, poet/writer, and translatee. Our roundtable offers insights into four different configurations and three different genres: poetry, fiction, and graphic novels. We’ll share best practices, bestow nuggets of hard-won wisdom, and cover practicalities such as how to communicate, manage expectations, and divide the labor of collaborative translation. Languages include Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.

Into English: The Case for Multiple Translations
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floo
• R286. Into English: The Case for Multiple Translations. (Kevin Prufer, Cole Swensen, Ellen Doré Watson, Danielle Georges) To mark the publication of Into English(Graywolf Press), an anthology of multiple translations and accompanying essays on the art of translation, three panelists and a moderator will discuss the intricacies of literary translation and the value of considering multiple translations—that is, parallel translations of the same poems by different translators. This panel brings together experienced translators of French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and German.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Let the Games Begin: Translating Wordplay in World Literatures
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F125. Let the Games Begin: Translating Wordplay in World Literatures, Sponsored by ALTA. (Nancy Naomi Carlson, Jeanne Garane, Marcela Sulak, Russell Scott Valentino, Barbara Goldberg) Writers around the globe love to employ wordplay, such as puns and neologisms. Translating wordplay presents unique challenges and a certain amount of risk taking. This panel of poets and scholars, translating from such languages as Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, French, Hebrew, and Spanish, will share creative strategies for keeping the wordplay alive in their translations.

Her Poetic Voice: Women Translating Women
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 23, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F133. Her Poetic Voice: Women Translating Women. (Katherine Hedeen, Kristin Dykstra, Michelle Gil-Montero, Jeannine Pitas, Carina Schorske) Questions about how and why gender matters in translation are current, yet far from exhausted, in field-wide conversations. This panel contributes to the dialogue by gathering women translators of Spanish language women poets to consider the complexities of bringing female poetic subjectivity into English. Topics to be discussed include poetic expression, gendered language, the ideological implications of our choices, and the role of woman translators as both creators and promoters.

On Speaking Terms: Forging Healthy Translation-Writer Communication and Boundaries
10:30 am to 11:45 am—Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F151. On Speaking Terms: Forging Healthy Translation-Writer Communication and Boundaries. (Maria Nazos, Jim Kates, Simon Wickamsmith, Aliki Barnstone) Translation has long been considered a diversifying and generous practice. As “the person in between,” we often forge long-lasting, complicated, and wonderful relationships with our authors. There is a sense of accomplishment and challenge when we bring an author’s words into the correct light. But about when we are faced with trials that accompany even the best working relationships? We will also discuss the intricacies of saying no, saying yes, and bettering communication with our authors.

Translating from the Peripheries
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F186. Translating from the Peripheries, Sponsored by ALTA. (Chenxin Jiang, Annie Janusch, Kelsi Vanada) Translating from the peripheries of a dominant language, e.g. from Taiwan/Hong Kong for Chinese, from Austria/Switzerland for German, or from Venezuela/Chile for Spanish, underscores questions about what readers and publishers expect in translated literature. Panelists discuss the challenges and rewards of translating authors on the margins of their own language, such as an Austrian writer whose books were initially mis-received by German reviewers for being written in “Austrian.”

Writing as Migration
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 10, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F254. Writing as Migration. (Nancy W. Au, May-Lee Chai, Ploi Pirapokin, Nayomi Munaweera, Achy Obejas) Meaning thrives within the liminal linguistic space between words. For translators, this space is uniquely fraught. How do translators carry the scars of history, intersecting cultures and languages under their skin? What forms of resistance subsist and thrive within the art of translation? How do translators translate the untranslatable? What are the different ways and reasons translators might resist translation?

Speak Out: A Milkweed Editions Poetry Reading
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 18 & 19, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F262. Speak Out: A Milkweed Editions Poetry Reading. (Fady Joudah, Analicia Sotelo, Martha Collins, David Keplinger, Michael Bazzett) Five award-winning debut and established poets read from new work and translations published by Milkweed Editions. These are poets working from a range of experiences, geographies, and styles, but what unites them is that they are all poets set on speaking out: about the body, inside and out; against “virgin” and “naïve” as insult; about mapping cities known and unknown and the slow burn of time passing, about ecological disaster and other horrors, personal and shared.

Translation and Advocacy
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 25, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F267. Translation and Advocacy. (Chip Rolley, Pierre Joris, Elizabeth Lowe, Aron Aji, Alta Price) Translators often consider how their work influences the cultural landscape into which they translate. Equally important is how the translator creates political ripple effects, welcome or not, in the author’s home country. Panelists translating from Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish discuss their experiences navigating cultural politics, censorship, and nationalism, as they explore the political consequences and ethical burdens of serving as a medium between cultures.

Negotiating Cultural Bias in Translation
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Room 3 & 4, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• F282. Negotiating Cultural Bias in Translation. (Joshua Bernstein, Kyoko Yoshida, Huda Fakhreddine, Jayson Iwen, Piotr Florczyk) Edward Said famously claimed that “texts are not finished objects” and that interpretation itself lends meaning. But what is the role of the translator, especially when coming from a culture entirely different from that of the work she’s translating? What kinds of cultural assumptions or prejudices might she bring to bear on the work? Can she, or should she, acknowledge these assumptions? As practicing translators, we ask what’s at stake in the translation of cultural texts, particularly poetry.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Xavier University of Louisiana Creative Writing Minor 20th Anniversary Reading
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S122. Xavier University of Louisiana Creative Writing Minor 20th Anniversary Reading. (Biljana D. Obradovic, Patrice Melnick, Jonathan Moody, Kristina Robinson, Kayla Rodney) Located in New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana is a Historically Black and Catholic University founded by St. Katherine Drexel and the Sister of the Blessed Sacrament in 1915, and also the first to start a minor in creative writing, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. One of the founders, creative nonfiction writer Patrice Melnick, as well as a current professor, the poet and translator, Biljana D. Obradovic, will read from their work with their successful creative writing.

“How difficult it is to remain just one person”: Translating the Autobiographical Poem
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 16, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S127. “How difficult it is to remain just one person”: Translating the Autobiographical Poem. (Michelle Gil-Montero, Don Mee Choi, Sasha Dugdale, Valerie Mejer Caso, Anna Deeny Morales) This panel gathers poet-translators to discuss the complexities of the contemporary autobiographical poem. How might translation reveal the lyric self as fluid, elusive, and relational? Through translation, this conversation will explore questions of authority and embodiment in the autobiographical poem itself. Poet-translators from Spanish, Korean, and Russian will highlight the personal and cultural dimensions of shifting subjectivity, and the dissonance of lived vs. written experience.

Literary Translation in the Creative Writing Classroom
9:00 am to 10:15 am—Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S133. Literary Translation in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Evan Fallenberg, Liz Harris, Roger Sedarat, Minna Proctor, AnnMarie Drury) Literary translation, one of the fastest growing genres in creative writing programs these days, is a natural option for people who love literature and languages and writing and who wish to train themselves for satisfying careers in the book world. The panelists in this session are all translators and writers who teach literary translation courses and workshops that are part of creative writing programs and will share their experiences and teaching methods with participants.

Free and Constrained: Writing, Translating, and the Creative Process
10:30 am to 11:45 am—Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S157. Free and Constrained: Writing, Translating, and the Creative Process, Sponsored by ALTA. (Don Bogen, Geoffrey Brock, Martha Collins, Mira Rosenthal) While poets writing and revising their own work can be relatively free, poets translating face the constraint of the original. What’s carried over from the struggle with a poem in another language to the struggle with a draft or the blank page? Four poet-translators discuss how their creative processes differ in each mode and what each offers the other.

Kitchen Table Translation: Migration, Diaspora, Contexts
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
• S177. Kitchen Table Translation: Migration, Diaspora, Contexts. (Madhu H. Kaza, Katrina Dodson, Gabrielle Civil, Sawako Nakayasu) How might immigrant or diasporic translators bring a particular set of concerns to the task of translation distinct from the mainstream of literary translation in the US? The Kitchen Table Translation panel creates an opportunity to hear from a diverse group writers and translators who can speak about personal, cultural, and political dimensions of translation in relation to the technical, aesthetic, and literary aspects of the work.

For Your Freedom and Ours: Three Soviet Poet-Dissidents
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S181. For Your Freedom and Ours: Three Soviet Poet-Dissidents. (Irina Mashinski, Mihaela Moscaliuc, Mary Jane White) The panel will focus on the life and craft of three late poet-dissidents of the post-Stalin USSR: Gorbanevskaya, Daniel, and Delaunay. Gorbanevskaya and Delaunay participated in the 1968 Red Square Demonstration to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia; Daniel was arrested earlier. Each panelist will translate several poems of one of these poets and will talk about his or her legacy. The panel is dedicated to poets in all totalitarian regimes, where poetry itself becomes a subversive activity.

Imagining Others: Writing Fiction in English About Non-English Speaking Communities
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Room 3 & 4, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S182. Imagining Others: Writing Fiction in English About Non-English Speaking Communities. (Subramanian Shankar, Samrat Upadhyay, Peter Kimani, Stephanie Han, David Odhiambo) How is the non-English speaking world represented in English-language novels? What does it mean to write dialogue, imagine thoughts, and in general create interiority and community in English when the characters being represented are not English speaking (at all or primarily)? This question—which may be thought of as one of translation or of writing from the margins of the English language—will be responded to by the five panelists broadly and with examples from their own work.

The Glories of Impossible Translations: International Perspectives on Creative Process
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm—Room 23, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S196. The Glories of Impossible Translations: International Perspectives on Creative Process. (Helene Cardona, Sidney Wade, Hilary Kaplan, Willis Barnstone, Christopher Merrill) Is it cliché to say that translation is impossible? Can one ever truly translate the likes of Sappho, Lorca, or Baudelaire with their sophistication, cleverness, and verbal music? Working with Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, French, Spanish, and Turkish, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as intermediaries, technicians, and alchemists dancing between languages to create inspired texts spanning cultural differences, geographic distances, and time.

Translation and/as Exile
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm—Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S218. Translation and/as Exile, Sponsored by ALTA. (Becka McKay, Sarah Stickney, Mira Rosenthal, Elisabeth Jaquette, Russell Valentino) How does exile—literal and metaphorical, physical and otherwise—affect the process of translation? How do our choices change when we translate into or out of diaspora? And isn’t translation itself a form of exiling a language? Translators working from Hebrew, Spanish, Polish, and Italian will explore the relationship of exile to translated language—from working with the words of exiled writers to examining differences that the state of exile imposes on our language.

Who Are We Writing For? Who Are We Writing Toward?
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm—Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S251. Who Are We Writing For? Who Are We Writing Toward? (Bix Gabriel, T Kira Madden, Megan Giddings, Ursula Villarreal-Moura, Patty Yumi Cottrell) Do I have to explain the difference between Pakistan and Bangladesh? Do I have to give a translation in my work for this phrase? How explicit do I have to be that this character is not white? Five emerging writers discuss their decisions about audience, the choices and negotiations they make while writing and editing their prose for mass consumption.

Bridging the Gaps Between Countries by Translation
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Florida Salon 6, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
• S270. Bridging the Gaps Between Countries by Translation. (Gloria Mindock, Andrey Gritsman, Carmen Firan, Marc Vincenz) In our time of political and cultural challenges, multiculturalism is a priority in order to better understand the world and its diversity. Encouraging translations can make a difference to the American cultural environment, in order to broaden and facilitate the access to the rich contemporary life of letters from other parts of the globe.

Translating Asian Prose
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S272. Translating Asian Prose. (Charles Waugh, Michelle Kyoko Crowson, Anothai Kaewkaen, Bonnie Chau) Four accomplished translators, working in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese, discuss the difficulties posed by translating Asian prose. Covering topics such as rendering vernacular and regional dialects, conveying humor, handling challenges arising from logographic and alphasyllabary words and grammars, and considering the political consequences of the work, this panel reveals insights into translating languages and genres underrepresented in US publishing and at AWP.

Immigrant Publishing: International Literary Publishers on Coming to America
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Room 15, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S281. Immigrant Publishing: International Literary Publishers on Coming to America. (Richard Nash, Emily Cook, Alana Wilcox, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf) Representatives of leading international independent literary publishers from Australia, Canada, the UK, and Africa discuss the joys and tribulations of bringing their countries’ literatures to the US. This dialogue opens a window into both local and global book culture, mirroring, refracting, and challenging our understanding of our current literary culture. We’ll learn that it is not just languages that are translated, but entire publishing systems and habits.

Open Letter’s Poetry in Translation Series: A 10th Anniversary Celebration
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm—Room 22, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
• S286. Open Letter’s Poetry in Translation Series: A 10th Anniversary Celebration. (Patrick Phillips, Rachel Galvin, Benjamin Paloff, Harris Feinsod, Jennifer Grotz) In honor of Open Letter’s tenth anniversary, this panel will discuss the importance of access to contemporary world poetry via literary translation. Four Open Letter translators from Spanish, Polish, and Danish will present their poets, how they found and delineated their projects, how they undertook the always fraught if crucial art of translating poetry, and what poetry in translation introduces to the landscape and conversations of contemporary American literature.

Advertisements
Posted in Conferences, Events | Leave a comment

Announcing the Winner of the 2017 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize!

October 7, 2017—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce the winner of the 2017 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize. The award was officially announced during ALTA’s annual conference, ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions, held this year at the Radisson Blu Downtown in Minneapolis, MN from October 5-8, 2017. Lucien Stryk was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University. The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. This year’s judges are Eleanor Goodman, Kendall Heitzman, and Aditi Machado.

Winner: 2017 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize

Not Written Words
by Xi Xi
Translated from the Chinese by Jennifer Feeley
(Zephyr Press)

Words from the judges: Jennifer Feeley’s superb translation captures all of the creativity, intellect, and playfulness in the verse of premier Hong Kong poet Xi Xi. In these skillfully wrought and daring poems, Feeley employs all the tools of the English language, including unforced end and internal rhyme, alliteration, wordplay, and references that run the gamut from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to fine art to contemporary politics. In deceptively lighthearted poems such as “Excerpt from a Feminist Dictionary,” the verse rings as powerfully in the English as it does in the original Chinese:

I is I
you you
The third-person pronoun they
Combating the trade of lad/ies of the night

A hen is a shen
Heir sheir
Heaven Sheaven
A Hebrew woman a Shebrew

Mankind wekind
History herstory

This translation is essential reading, providing a window into the rich literature of Hong Kong and the larger Sinophone world.

Submissions for the 2018 Lucien Stryk Prize will be accepted starting in January 2018. Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

Posted in ALTA Conference, Prizes, Stryk | Leave a comment

Announcing the Winner of the 2017 Italian Prose in Translation Award!

October 7, 2017—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 Italian Prose in Translation Award! The award was officially announced during ALTA’s annual conference, ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions, held this year at the Radisson Blu Downtown in Minneapolis, MN from October 5-8, 2017.
Starting in 2015, the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) recognizes the importance of contemporary Italian prose (fiction and literary non-fiction) and promotes the translation of Italian works into English. This $5,000 cash prize is awarded annually to a translator of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). This year’s judges are Elizabeth Harris, Jim Hicks, and Olivia Sears. Read what the judges had to say about the winning title below.

Winner: 2017 Italian Prose in Translation Award

We Want Everything
by Nanni Balestrini
translated from the Italian by Matt Holden
(Verso Books)

Nanni Balestrini’s We Want Everything (1971), translated for the first time into English by Matt Holden, is unabashedly political—a novel, as Rachel Kushner says in her introduction, that is deeply original and that “succeeds on three different levels simultaneously, as a work of astounding art, a document of history, and a political analysis that remains resonant to the contradictions of the present.” We witness the awakening of an unnamed narrator in 1960s Italy, a worker from the south who migrates north to participate in Italy’s “economic miracle,” only to find the stultifying work conditions of a Turin Fiat plant to be intolerable. The protagonist participates in strikes that were a part of what has come to be known as Italy’s “hot autumn” of 1969. The novel’s magic comes by way of its narrator: vibrant and compelling, the narrative voice is also harsh, and keeps its distance. As the story continues, this voice, still vibrant, speaks increasingly for an entire group of exhausted, enraged workers—and yet the novel avoids being dogmatic or propagandistic. As the legendary leftist Luciana Castellina has put it: Ballestrini created the first true novel in Italy about workers. In English, the complexity and nuance of the narrative voice, shifting seamlessly between the spoken word and descriptions of a new political movement, are of course the work of Matt Holden; his excellent translation remains remarkably true to Balestrini’s original while never faltering as a work of gritty art.

Submissions for the 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award will be accepted starting in January 2018.Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

Posted in ALTA Conference, IPTA, Prizes | Leave a comment

Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation!

October 7, 2017—White Pine Press, the Cliff Becker Endowment for the Literary Arts, and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) are proud to announce the winner of the sixth annual Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, which produces one volume of literary translation in English, annually.

This year’s winners are Derek Mong and Anne O. Fisher for their translation from the Russian of The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of  Maxim Amelin. The judges Diana Thow,  Anthony Anemone, and Joanna Trzeciak Huss read and reviewed 30 book manuscripts in determining the winner of the prize. The book will be published by White Pine Press in fall 2018 and launched at ALTA’s annual conference, ALTA41, which will be held in Bloomington, IN from October 31 – November 3, 2018. The judges had the following to say about Fisher and Mong’s manuscript:

Mong and Fisher have succeeded in finding a distinctive voice in English for Amelin, a poet steeped in the philosophical traditions and poetic culture of Russia.  There is poetry in Mong and Fisher’s translation, wrought in judicious and playful word choice, internal rhyme, and with a sensitive ear for song, sense, and soulfulness.  There are even places where these translations equal or, perhaps, surpass the original in their crispness and linguistic innovation, making this collection not only a remarkable accomplishment of poetic translation but truly a pleasure to read.

Additionally, the judges for the 2017 Cliff Becker Prize have awarded Honorable Mentions to Art Beck for his translation of Martial’s Mea Roma and Elaine Wong for her translation of Chen Li’s Twelve Dynasties. They had this to say about the runners-up:

Art Beck allows Martial to speak directly to the modern reader, artfully navigating the profound differences between contemporary English poetry and Latin poetry of the First Century C.E. Like Martial’s originals, Beck’s translations are funny, beautifully crafted, and, often, profoundly shocking to modern sensibilities.

Elaine Wong translates Chen Li with verbal deftness, elegance and nearly mathematical precision. Her ability to preserve the central conceits of Twelve Dynasties is an impressive achievement and makes for a stirring read that richly deserves to be acknowledged.

Submissions for the 2019 Cliff Becker Book Prize will be accepted starting in January 2018. Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

 

Posted in ALTA Conference, Becker, Prizes | Leave a comment

Announcing the 2017 Winners of the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose!

October 7, 2017—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose! This is the nineteenth year for the NTA, which is administered by the ALTA, and only the third year to award separate prizes in poetry and prose. The NTA is the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work.

This year’s judges for poetry are Ani Gjika, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, and Gregory Racz. This year’s prose judges are Carol Apollonio, Eric M. B. Becker, and Ottilie Mulzet. Award selection criteria include the quality of the finished English language book, and the quality of the translation.

Winner: 2017 National Translation Award in Poetry

Valdivia
by Galo Ghigliotto
translated from the Spanish by Daniel Borzutzky
(co·im·press)

Words from the judges: In Valdivia, a haunting fusion of history, dreamscape, and memory, Chilean Galo Ghigliotto’s speaker offers a complex vision of his provincial birth city as the site of famous battles, a devastating 1960 earthquake (with its ensuing floods), and eerie, otherworldly phenomena amid the scenario of domestic violence that plagued his own family.  Written as a series of forty-three poems tellingly presented out of sequence, Valdivia serves as a sort of poetic catharsis for these afflictions which, embedded in reality, can scarcely pull clear of the imagination.  Daniel Borzutzky vividly renders this melding of fact, fiction, and the vagaries of recollection in a lucid and precise English.


Winner: 2017 National Translation Award in Prose

Zama
by Antonio di Benedetto
translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen
(New York Review of Books)

Words from the judges: How fortunate we are to finally have this classic of twentieth-century Argentine literature  in English. Zama, “pacifier of Indians” and a servant of the Spanish crown in eighteenth-century colonial America, aches for a better post in a city where he might send for his wife and their children. As his prospects dim, Zama descends into economic and moral penury, his rapidly deteriorating situation revealing not only his own prejudices but those behind the Spanish government’s changing relationship to its colonies. Esther Allen’s superb translation captures the remarkable atmosphere and existential anguish of Di Benedetto’s masterwork.

Submissions for the 2018 National Translation Awards will be accepted starting in January 2018. Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

Posted in ALTA Conference, NTA, Prizes | Leave a comment