The 2017 ALTA Travel Fellows Announced!

ALTA TRAVEL FELLOWSHIPS AWARDED!

  • $1,000 to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference
  • Fellows reading at ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions (October 5-8, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN)

ALTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 ALTA Travel Fellowships, including the second annual Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship. Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Dick Cluster, Sara Novic, and Sebastian Schulman. Congratulations to these exceptional emerging translators, chosen from more than 100 applications:

Aaron Coleman, 2017 Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellow (Spanish)
Aaron Coleman is the author of St. Trigger, which won the 2015 Button Poetry Prize, and Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, 2018). A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow, Aaron is currently a PhD student in Washington University in St. Louis’ Comparative Literature Program’s International Writers Track. Read more about Aaron here.

Bonnie Chau, 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow (Chinese and French)
Bonnie Chau has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, with a concentration in translation, focusing on Chinese and French fiction. Her writing has appeared in Flaunt, Timber, Drunken Boat, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and other journals. A Kundiman fellow, she currently works at Poets & Writers in New York City. Read more about Bonnie here.

Ellen Jones, 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow (Spanish)
Ellen Jones is Criticism Editor at Asymptote and a doctoral researcher at Queen Mary University of London. Her translations from Spanish into English have appeared or are forthcoming in the GuardianHotel, Palabras errantes, and Columbia Journal, and in Enrique Winter’s bilingual chapbook Suns (Cardboard House Press, 2017). Read more about Ellen here.

Zoë Sandford, 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow (Arabic and French)
Zoë Sandford was born in the US and moved to the UK at the age of eight. She holds a BA in French and Arabic from St John’s College, Oxford. Her original writing has appeared in The ISIS and Vulture. Read more about Zoë here.

Timea Sipos, 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow (Hungarian)
Timea Sipos is a Hungarian-American translator and writer currently earning her MFA in Fiction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her translation has appeared at The Short Story Project. She is in the process of translating Ilka Papp-Zakor’s short story collection and 2015 JAK Kendő Award winner, Angel Dinner. Read more about Timea here.

David Smith, 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow (Norwegian)
David M. Smith is an Atlanta-based translator of Norwegian fiction. He holds a Master’s Degree in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. His work has appeared in Drunken Boat. Read more about David here.

As part of ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions, October 5-8, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, there will be a Fellows Reading to feature the work of these excellent Fellows. More information on the conference is available at http://www.literarytranslators.org/alta40.

The mentor for the 2017 ALTA Travel Fellows is Russell Valentino.

More details about ALTA Travel Fellowships available at http://literarytranslators.org/awards/alta-travel-fellowships.

 

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Meet the ’17 Fellows: David Smith

Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Dick Cluster, Sara Novic, and Sebastian Schulman. We are excited to feature Travel Fellow David Smith:

724A6781The pinnacle of David’s translation career (so far) came in 2015, when he met one of his literary idols and the grand old man of Norwegian letters, Dag Solstad, at a festival in New York. David was conversing with Solstad in Norwegian when some Americans walked up, wanting to speak to the author, which David facilitated through some impromptu interpreting. While he hopes to one day bring more of Solstad’s oeuvre into English, for now, he is gratified that he can truthfully say: “I translated Dag Solstad.”

David grew up outside of Atlanta and studied English and philosophy at the University of Georgia. He then earned a Master’s Degree in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. After Chicago, a lifelong interest in his family’s Nordic heritage brought him to Norway. He took language classes at the University of Oslo, before settling in Bergen and starting to work as a commercial translator. In 2014, he earned a National Translator Accreditation from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Upon returning to the States, David has focused on building a career in literary translation. His first published translation, a crime story by Unni Lindell, appeared earlier this year in Drunken Boat. He has been attending ALTA and AWP conferences and adding to a wide network of translators. This summer, David worked as an intern at Open Letter Books in Rochester, New York, writing reader’s reports, editing manuscripts and promoting new translations. He also gained valuable feedback on his own work from the Rochester translation community. After the internship, he will appear on an episode of the Three Percent Podcast to discuss Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller, an important work of Icelandic modernism.

Besides Solstad, David is particularly interested the rich tradition of Nordic women’s writing, from Sigrid Undset and Drude Krog Janson in the past to writers like Vigdis Hjorth and Naja Marie Aidt today. He continues to make connections and produce sample translations, and hopes to land his first book-length project in the near future.

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Meet the ’17 Fellows: Timea Sipos

Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Dick Cluster, Sara Novic, and Sebastian Schulman. We are excited to feature Travel Fellow Timea Sipos:

PictureBorn in Budapest, Timea Sipos immigrated with her parents to Los Angeles at six years old. As someone who grew up between two cultures and two countries, translating from English to Hungarian and vice versa was an everyday necessity.

To fulfill her undergraduate foreign language requirement, Timea spent a summer in Hungary working closely with a Hungarian tutor so that she could, for the first time, learn proper Hungarian grammar and read canonical Hungarian literature. The works of Géza Gárdonyi, Áron Tamási, and István Örkény hooked her right away. At this time, Timea began translating prose from both languages into the other in preparation for her language exam.

When applying for creative writing programs, one of the greatest draws of the MFA at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for her was its translation requirement. Excited at the prospect of literary translation, she tried her hand at translating István Örkény’s flash fiction before receiving her acceptance from UNLV. Upon her acceptance, however, it soon dawned on her how many more male Hungarian writers are translated into English than female Hungarian writers, and how few female Hungarian writers she had read in the first place. With the goal of bringing the short stories of a living female Hungarian writer to an American audience, Timea traveled to Budapest during the summer after her first year in her MFA program and eventually discovered the sometimes fairytale-esque, other times absurd, but always mesmerizing Angyalvacsora (Angel Dinner) by Ilka Papp-Zakor. So far, her translation of “Kaviár” (“Caviar”) has appeared online at The Short Story Project; the remaining stories are either in the process of finding homes in literary journals or awaiting translation.

While she aims in her translation to bring Hungarian text into an English that sounds natural to an American reader, nonetheless maintaining the sound, rhythm, and style of the original wherever possible, her goals for her original fiction are very different. Namely, she aims in her fiction to mimic Hungarian speech and translate Hungarian idioms word by word into English so that the unique flavor of her characters’ mother tongues can seep through into her stories. She also quietly harbors the goal of teaching Americans some Hungarian through her original writing, and thus peppers her stories with Hungarians words when she can create the proper context to do so.

As an attendee of the first ever conference for translators translating from Hungarian literature into foreign languages, hosted by the Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeum (Petőfi Literary Museum) in Budapest this year, Timea had the rare chance to personally meet translators she’s been reading for years. Similarly, both attending the 88th Ünnepi Könyvhét(Celebratory Book Week) in Budapest and volunteering at the literary tent at VOLT Festival in Sopron this year allowed her the chance to connect with established contemporary Hungarian authors.

Timea is thrilled to attend the 2017 ALTA Conference in Minneapolis, where she hopes to continue to build her network of practicing literary translators.

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Meet the ’17 Fellows: Zoë Sandford

Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Dick Cluster, Sara Novic, and Sebastian Schulman. We are excited to feature Travel Fellow Zoë Sandford:

headshotZoë Sandford was born in the US and moved to the UK at the age of eight. As a dual-national, she understood from an early age the importance of bridges between cultures, and the desire to help build these international bridges was what led her to translation. The study of languages in school, especially German and French, allowed her to expand her literary horizons; curiosity about how these horizons could continue to expand then prompted her to study non-European languages, and to strive for a global, interconnected understanding of world literatures.

Zoë went on to obtain a BA in French and Arabic from St John’s College, Oxford. As part of the course, she lived in Amman, Jordan in 2014-15, and pursued an intensive program of study at the Qasid Institute. This program introduced her to contemporary Arabic writing in its original language for the first time, with an approach that took into account Arabic literature’s rich heritage as well as its complex present. She has also travelled and studied in the West Bank.

She has a particular interest in speculative fiction, especially fantastic and dystopian fiction. As her undergraduate thesis at Oxford, Zoë wrote a comparative work which looked at four contemporary novels, two French and two Egyptian, and examined the theoretical and political implications of describing them as dystopian. Her current personal project is a translation of Heaven on Earth, by Jordanian novelist Fady Zaghmout, which depicts a future society where technological advances have cured aging (the official translation of the book is forthcoming in translation by Sawad Hussain from Signal 8 Press). Zoë also has a strong interest in postcolonial theories of literature, in French as a world language, and in polyvocality and multilingualism in postcolonial contexts.

In addition to translation, Zoë writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in publications including The ISIS and Vulture.

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Meet the ’17 Fellows: Ellen Jones

Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Dick Cluster, Sara Novic, and Sebastian Schulman. We are excited to feature Travel Fellow Ellen Jones:

Ellen Jones photographEllen studied English and Spanish literature at the University of Oxford, during which time she spent a year abroad in Santiago de Chile. It was there that she got her first taste of literary translation, while she pieced together a living by writing and serving French crepes from a van. After returning to finish her degree, she moved to London to start a job at a literary agency, where she finally got round to reading all the books she hadn’t had time for at university.

After returning to Oxford for an M.St. in English Language, she started her PhD at Queen Mary University of London, researching English-Spanish bilingualism in contemporary literature, and the particular challenges associated with reading, publishing, and translating that kind of writing. She looks, for example, at Tess O’Dwyer’s translation of Giannina Braschi’s bilingual novel Yo-Yo Boing! into just English, and at Achy Obejas’s translation of Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao into just Spanish, asking what it means to translate something that depends on its particular mix of languages in order to signify. She has also taught undergraduate students of English and Comparative Literature on modules ranging from literary theory to postcolonial writing and world literature.

During her three years as a PhD student Ellen has volunteered for Asymptote, an international journal of literary translation. Her main job is Criticism Editor, but she has also edited two special features on multilingual writing, contributed short translations, reviews, and blog posts, and has organised literary panel events around London. Working for Asymptote is always a pleasure and never a chore – the organisation boasts scores of talented and interesting staff members, from whom she has learned an enormous amount.

Ellen has concentrated on translating literature from Chile, where her Spanish really took root. In particular she has worked on two novels as yet unpublished in English. These are Las bolsas de basura, the first novel by poet Enrique Winter, an existentialist investigation on love and desire that locates beauty in the dead and decaying, and Nona Fernández’s Mapocho, a powerful, ghostly novel in which characters wander between life and death, and which rewrites periods of Chilean history from the perspectives of the marginalised.

Ellen’s short translations have appeared or are forthcoming in the Guardian, Hotel, Asymptote, Palabras errantes, and Columbia Journal, and in the new Bogotá39 anthology. Some of her translations of poems by Enrique Winter have recently appeared in a chapbook called Suns from Cardboard House Press. In addition, she has reviewed translated fiction for the Glasgow Review of Books and MAKE: A Literary Magazine, has an essay on literary translation online forthcoming in The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online, and a journal article on Junot Díaz forthcoming from Hispanic Research Journal. In honour of her half-Cypriot mother, her latest project is to teach herself Greek.

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