Call for papers: Translation Theory Today

An Interdisciplinary Conference on Critical Theory
The Critical Theory Certificate Program & The Center for the Humanities
Graduate Center of the City University of New York  (CUNY)
New York, NY, USA

Keynote Speakers: Homi K. Bhabha (Harvard University); Edwin Frank (The New York Review of Books Classics)

Keynote Roundtable on Practice:  Sara Bershtel (Metropolitan Books), Barbara Epler (New Directions), Jonathan Galassi (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), & Jill Schoolman (Archipelago Books)

The Critical Theory Certificate Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in conjunction with The Center for the Humanities presents the fifth annual interdisciplinary conference on  Critical Theory to be held May 5th-6th, 2015. This year’s conference will be devoted to the theory and practice of translation.

Literally meaning “carried across,” translation facilitates the movement of ideas among individuals, cultures languages, time periods, and geographic boundaries. Since antiquity, scholars have questioned translation’s ability to preserve meaning across languages and debated whether the successful translator should provide a word for word conversion of the original or adapt the source material to fit its new context and, in so doing, take on an authorial role. The globalization of the present era has highlighted how translation fosters communication while emphasizing cultural differences and disparities, simultaneously illuminating and distorting meaning. In the liminal space between the spoken and the unspeakable, translation serves as an adaptive tool that facilitates the development of new social memories and historical narratives. This conference seeks to employ Critical Theory to examine all aspects of translation—its history, evolution, practice, and effects on language, identity, culture, and society—in order to interrogate the functions of and standards for a successful translation. We welcome a wide range of disciplines and theoretical approaches, including literary theory, psychoanalysis, identity theory, semiotics, philosophy, social theory, cultural studies, postcolonialism, gender studies, and political theory. Some of the topics that this conference seeks to address include, but are not limited to:

• Translation’s adaptation of the source material to fit new historical, social, and cultural contexts

• The creative aspects of a translation, and its capacity to stand on its own artistic merits

• The translator’s role as an author and translation’s fidelity (or lack thereof) to the original source material

• The possibility of cultural translation

• The relationship between translation and globalization

• Translation as means of comprehending Self and Other

• The particular characteristics of writers and translators in exile, immigrant, diaspora, and dissident communities

• The evolution and history of translation, especially with respect to Antiquity and the Middle Ages

• The psychological effects of translation, particularly with regard to identity politics

• Translation and its relationships with etymology and philology (e.g. Turǧumān, dragoman, drogman, targum)

• Translation as an ideological or political tool

• Translation and memory

• The function of translation in polyglot communities

• Theoretical analyses of translations

• Authors who translate and the inner translator in bilingual and trilingual authors

• Technology’s effect on translation and the impact of internet translation communities

• Translation as figure

• Translation, imitation, and hybridity

• The consequences of improper or mistranslation

Please submit a 300-word abstract to by March 1st. Proposals should include the title of the paper, the presenter’s name, a 50-word bio including institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.

For questions, please contact Sarah Salman at

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Announcing the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship!

ALTA is delighted to announce the establishment of the annual Peter Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship, beginning with the 2016 ALTA Travel Fellowship. The Jansen Fellowship will be preferentially awarded to an emerging translator of color or a translator working from a diaspora or stateless language.

The $1000 fellowship will help cover the costs of airfare, hotel, and travel to the 2016 ALTA conference, ALTA39: Translation & CrossingsDeadline for applications is April 8, 2016. Applications must be submitted through our online form.

To apply for the Fellowship, submit:

  • a cover letter explaining your interest in attending the conference
  • current CV / resumé
  • up to 10 pages of translated work (poetry or prose, double spaced)
  • the corresponding original language text

You may learn more about previous years’ fellows here.

Peter K. Jansen (1934-2007) was an eminent scholar and translator of 19th and 20th-century German literature, and a University of Chicago professor emeritus. His remarkable contribution to German literary studies in English both as a scholar and a translator includes three plays by the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Though Jansen retired from the University in 1999, he continued his work as an active translator of German and Austrian literature, and become involved in shaping some of the activities of the Goethe Institute of Chicago.

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ALTA takes over coordination of the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation!

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is thrilled to announce that it will be responsible for coordinating the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, beginning with the 2017 Becker Prize (awarded in 2016).

Cliff Becker

Cliff Becker

The new selection process will feature a committee of three judges, including at least one translator and one poet.

The Becker Prize is the only award for an unpublished book-length manuscript of poetry in translation. It includes a $1,000 prize and publication by White Pine Press.

ALTA will begin accepting submissions online for the 2017 Cliff Becker Book Prize in 2016. The new selection process will feature a committee of three judges, including at least one translator and one poet. More details will be available at in April, 2016.

Last year’s competition winner was Carolyn Tipton for her translation of Returnings: Poems of Love and Distance by Spanish poet Rafael Alberti.

Cliff Becker (1964-2005) was the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Director from 1999-2005. He began his career at the NEA in 1992 as a literature specialist, was named Acting Director in 1997, and in 1999 became the NEA’s Director of Literature.

The Becker Prize is made possible by the Cliff Becker Endowment for the Literary Arts and a grant from the Amazon Literary Partnership.

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Translation Events at AWP 2016

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference (AWP 2016)’s schedule is live! We’ve assembled the list of translation-related events at the conference here for your translation-loving convenience.

The conference takes place this year from March 31 to April 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center & JW Marriott, Los Angeles. We hope to see you there!


Thursday, March 31, 2016

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Room 411, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R119. Loving the Tug of War: Tales from the Trenches of Collaborative Translation. (Ming Di,  Ellen Doré Watson,  Gabriela Capraroiu,  Mario Bojórquez,  Alí Calderón) What takes precedence in translation—the source language or the target language? How useful is the author as collaborator? What do we need to know to translate well into or out of a language we weren’t born to? Can informants give us enough of the guts and taste of the language and culture for us to get a poem or story right? A group of highly diverse translators of Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Romanian, and English share the highs and lows of collaborative translation.
Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R120. Printing the Forked Tongue: Bilingual Publishing After Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera. (Britt Haraway,  elena minor,  Diana Lopez,  Maria Miranda Maloney,  Raina J. León) Gloria Anzaldúa demanded her freest expression, whether in Spanish, English, and/or the in-between. The literary world had trouble keeping up—and, to an extent, still does. There are contemporary publishers that take up her challenge and seize an opportunity to create open spaces for language. Whereas Anzaldúa was told to wash the linguistic richness off of her tongue, these editors encourage writers to blossom into their natural language palate and create their best words in the best order.

10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R163. Beautifully Broken: A Multilingual Reading of Trauma-Informed Poetry. (Nancy Naomi Carlson,  Alex Cigale,  Alexis Levitin,  Chun Ye,  Aliki Barnstone) Trauma knows no national boundaries and has inspired a diverse body of poetry to inscribe that before which words are powerless. Poetic response to trauma is conditioned by historical context as well as personal character. This panel of poets and translators reads poems from such countries as Brazil, China, Greece, Martinique, and Russia that describe or explore such devastating life experiences as war, exile, natural catastrophes, prison, and unrequited love.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 511, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R194. I Got You Babe: The (Dis)Harmonies of Collaboration. (Dean Rader,  Matthew Rohrer,  Simone Muench,  Brittany Cavallaro,  Carol Guess) What are the perils and pleasures of literary co-play? Collaboration in film, dance, music, and the visual arts is commonplace; however, in literary fields, authorial collaborations are often looked upon with skepticism and incredulity by both readers and publishers. And yet, collaborative projects are on the rise. Five poets who translate, sample, and co-author collaborate here to discuss the innovations, advantages, and artistry of working with other writers—both living and dead.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 408 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R216. Extinction, Erasure, and the Living Practices of W. S. Merwin. (Stanley Plumly,  David Baker,  Rosanna Warren,  Meghan O’Rourke) W. S. Merwin may be our greatest living poet—a poet of absence and erasure, whose 65-year poetic vocation traces words on a journey, he says, not the inscriptions of a settled people. Four poet-critics look at Merwin’s life and art to discuss this fruitful paradox—how grappling with the conditions of both linguistic erasure and natural extinction have led him to unparalleled works of presence and preservation in his poetry, his bountiful translations, and his devoted nature-conservancy.
Room 506, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R226. Publishing Translations: University Presses. (Russell Valentino,  Gary Dunham ) University presses have long been at the forefront of translation publishing in the US, and today is no exception. Through long traditions of curating scholarly and artistic works and a variety of new initiatives, today’s university presses continue to lead the way in bringing to light new voices from around the world, forgotten classics, and newly unearthed masterpieces from the past. This panel features editors from leading university presses committed to translated literature.
Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R230. The Translator as Coauthor: Collaborative Translation. (Edward Gauvin,  Shabnam Nadiya,  Kareem James Abu-Zeid,  Karen Emmerich,  Susan Harris) When translators and authors collaborate, we often assume that the translation replicates the original. Yet the results often differ not only in the obvious linguistic ways, but also in content, organization, and even plot, as writers take opportunities to revise and translators both render and rewrite the evolving text. Four translators discuss their experiences in working with their authors to bring their works into English, and the creative strategies involved in collaboration.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Room 403 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R243. The Changing Face(s) of Publishing. (Jane Friedman,  Erin Belieu,  Daniel José Older,  Roberto Tejada,  Kevin Prufer) Digital innovation, the VIDA count, #WeNeedDiverseBooks, a seeming explosion of translations—the face of publishing, tools for publishing, and reasons for being a publisher are all changing at a disorienting speed. In this panel, editors and contributors to the recently released Literary Publishing in the 21st Century debate and interrogate issues of success, power, diversity, and politics (among others) as literary publishing—and authors—look to the next thirty years.
Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R244. The Garden of Forking Paths: Journals Focusing on Translation. (Martin Rock,  Daniel Simon,  Wayne Miller,  Elizabeth Clark Wessel,  CJ Evans) Access to writing in translation is essential to all writers, and a growing number of literary journals are focusing heavily on publishing translated works. In this panel, editors of journals that focus on translation engage in a discussion on the necessity of translation to a robust and diverse literary community. We also focus on the practice of translation, ranging from ethics to accuracy to the process of obtaining rights and paying translators for their work.
Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R261. A Reading in Two Languages by Students of UTEP’s Bilingual Creative Writing MFA of the Americas.(Katherine Seltzer,  Andrea Castillo,  Fatima Masoud,  Aaron Romano-Meade,  Oscar Zapata) The Bilingual Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso offers students the cultural and linguistic resources to work and write in English, Spanish, or a mixture of the two. This reading showcases work, some of which is in translation, by a group of UTEP’s MFA students from North America, the Borderland, and Latin America.
Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level R264. Mandelstam in America. (Martha Kelly,  Alex Cigale,  Matvei Yankelevich,  Philip Nikolayev,  Val Vinokur) Despite the relative difficulty of his poetry, Russian modernist Osip Mandelstam has enjoyed enduring attention from North American and other English-speaking translators and poets. At least part of this attention is due to the civic concerns that inform his work and to his explorations of the construct of the free self in Western society. In this panel translators of Mandelstam join with poets, scholars, and an editor to discuss why Mandelstam continues to matter in America.

Offsite Event

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Ritz-Milner Hotel, 813 S. Flower St, Los Angeles, CA, 90017

The Word Works’ New Authors Reading!

Cost: Free

Our six new poets read: Jenny Barber, Carrie Bennett, Cheryl Clarke, Barbara Duffey, Marilyn McCabe, & Ayaz Pirani. We’ll kick off with a poem from our new translation of Kajal Ahmad, renowned Kurdish feminist poet. Enjoy an easy walk, rejuvenate with wild new poems, have some free wine and munchies before the big Rankine reading at 8:30. Meet the editors and ask how to publish with us too!

Contact: Nancy White

Organization: The Word Works


Friday, April 1, 2016

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Room 501, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F118. The New Translation Economy. (Will Evans,  Chad Post,  Olivia Sears,  Stephen Sparks ,  Jadranka Vrsalovic-Carevic) Translators, publishers, booksellers, and cultural agencies work together to create the economic context for the publication of translations, affecting what gets translated and by whom fundamentally. This panel discusses striking the economic balance between authors, translators, publishers, distributors, bookstores, cultural organizations, and readers to create a more vibrant and diverse translation marketplace and readership.
Room 515 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F130. Saving or Sinking the World Through Translation: International Perspectives on Creative Process. (Helene Cardona,  Jennifer Kwon Dobbs,  Ani Gjika,  Willis Barnstone,  Dennis Maloney) Does translation infuse or confuse us? How do temporal, esthetic, religious, and political beliefs shape the literature, history, and fate of nations? Working with Albanian, Aramaic, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, Korean, Latin, French, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as intermediaries, technicians, magicians, and alchemists working between languages to create inspired texts spanning cultural differences, geographic distances, and time.

10:30 am to 11:45 am

AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One F137B. Translation and Influence. (Sarah Stickney,  Martha Collins,  Curtis Bauer,  Adam Giannelli,  Piotr Florczyk) Translation is an intimate act. The work of carrying an author from one language into another leaves a mark on the translator. What effect does this have on the translator’s poetry? Where does the poet locate his or her voice amid the tangle of other voices? Is something learned about language that couldn’t have been learned from English? Five poets who translate address how they have transformed, challenged, stolen from, and been nourished by the powerful influences of authors they translate.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F174. Translation as Animation: New Poetry from Japan.(Kyoko Yoshida ,  Forrest Gander ,  Sawako Nakayasu,  Goro Takano,  James Shea) Beginning with a short reading, this panel of translators and writers explores the formal problems, aesthetic choices, and political implications of translating contemporary Japanese poetry. Panelists discuss the diversity of Japanese poetry and consider how the pleasures and challenges of translation animate their own writing. Poets under discussion include Takashi Hiraide, Sayumi Kamakura, Shirō Murano, Kiwao Nomura, and Gozo Yoshimasu.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor F200. Korean Feminist Poetics and Translation. (Eunsong Kim,  Johannes Goransson,  Ji Yoon Lee,  Don Mee Choi,  Joyelle McSweeney) South Korea’s contemporary history has been deeply impacted by US imperial policies. Yet its history remains relatively unknown: its war, dictatorships, and 47 Free Trade Agreements. We poets and translators discuss feminist Korean poets and propose poetry-as-activism and translation-as-resistance to colonizing power.
Room 506, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F223. Translation as Pure Writing IV: Nonfiction. (Becka McKay,  Sarah Viren,  Jen Zoble) This panel follows last year’s on poetry translations (as well as the 2014 panel on fiction translations) by turning to creative nonfiction and exploring the pleasures and virtues of translation as pure creative nonfiction writing, where the writers are not distracted by what sort of form to employ, how to develop a character, or how in the world to end or begin. The panel also examines the question of whether the idea of “truth” in nonfiction is affected by the presence of translation.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F253. Translation Poetics Continuum. (Anna Deeny Morales,  Raúl Zurita,  Valerie Mejer,  Daniel Borzutzky) This panel brings together poets and translators from different countries, generations and political contexts. Through bilingual readings, talks, and dialogue, speakers focus on the translation of poetry that emphasizes continuously shifting political, historical, and geographic contexts. The panel considers the ethical imperative of translation as an art that continues these dynamic shifts initiated in the original text.
Room 503, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F255. Not Disappearing into Americanness: Code-Switching as Cultural Preservation Through Language Conservation. (Nayelly Barrios,  Eric Nguyen,  Thomas Parrie,  Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez,  M. Evelina Galang) Code-switching, the practice of moving between two or more languages, provides a space for multilingual writers to engage in both their ethnic and American mainstream culture. This panel shows readers how writers use the words of the “other,” combined with the words and phrases of the familiar, to add extra layers of meaning to their work. This panel explores how code-switching engages in both minority cultures and the American mainstream, and how the “outsider” can join the conversation.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Gold Salon 4, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor F269. Phoneme Media Presents New Voices in Translation. (Angélica Freitas,  Ahmatjan Osman,  David Shook,  Hilary Kaplan,  André Naffis-Sahely) Brazilian poet Angélica Freitas reads from her English-language debut, Rilke Shake, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan, who will join her to read the poems in English; and Uyghur poet Ahmatjan Osman reads from his selected poems, Uyghurland: The Farthest Exile, the first ever literary translation from the Uyghur language of East Turkestan. Following the multilingual reading, Freitas, Kaplan, and Osman will take questions from the audience.
Room 512, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level F292. Translation as a Democratizing Force. (Wendy Call,  Alison Mandaville,  Peter Crume,  Cecilia Martinez-Gil,  John Oliver Simon) Three poets, a prose writer, and a scholar, translators all, explore the democratizing power of translation. We consider how translation—with examples from Azerbaijani and indigenous Mexican poets, a poet’s self-translation, ASL/sign interpretation of speech and story in the US and Kenya, and work in multilingual children’s poetry—empowers writers and increases equity in the world of words and ideas, where new possibilities for living together are imagined, shared, and set into motion.

Offsite Event

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 W 24th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Red Hen Press/Los Angeles Review Poetry Reading

Cost: Free

Join Red Hen Press and The Los Angeles Review in a celebration of poetry at LA’s famed Velaslavasay Panorama! Featuring Dana Gioia, David Mason, Adrienne Kalfopoulou, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Katharine Coles, Ramon Garcia, Ron Koertge, Gary Lemons, Andrea Scarpino, Jason Schneiderman, Peggy Shumaker, William Trowbridge, and more.

Contact: Kate Gale

Organization: Red Hen Press

Offsite Event

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 91101

Daring to Write: Contemporary Narratives by Dominican Women, A Reading

Cost: Free

Event URL:

A reading from, Daring to Write: Contemporary Narratives by Dominican Women, an anthology edited by Erika M. Martínez, offering a wide array of works on a range of topics, including love and family, identity and belonging, immigration and the meaning of home. The editor will be joined by contributors, Angie Cruz, Yalitza Ferreras, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, and Jina Oritz.

Contact: Erika M. Martinez

Organization: University of Georgia Press

Organization URL:

Offsite Event

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes | 501 N Main St, Los Angeles

Celebrating Camino del Sol

Cost: Free

Celebrate Latin@ literature and the legacy and promise of the Camino del Sol Series with the University of Arizona Press and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Hosted by Rigoberto González and featuring readings from Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Lorraine M. López, and Urayoán Noel. Free and open to the public. H’orderves & Cash bar.

Contact: University of Arizona Press

Organization: La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Offsite Event

7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

Gival Press Authors’ Reading

Cost: Free

Event URL:

Gival Press authors will be reading at Book Soup at 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood (310.659.3110) at 7:30 pm. Led by John Domini and including: Elizabeth Harris, Cecilia Martinez-Gil, Lowell Mick White, Mark Wisniewski, Seth Brady Tucker, Clifford Bernier, Thomas McNeely, and David Winner.

Contact: Robert L. Giron

Organization: Gival Press

Organization URL:


Saturday, April 2, 2016

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor S107. Translation at What Cost?: Poets Who Translate.(Jordan Elgrably,  Mihaela Moscaliuc,  Sholeh Wolpé,  Ming Di (Mindy) Zhang,  Ralph Angel) Translation is service, recreation, the lending of one’s own poetic tongue to another poet—and yet, is it also self-denial? Does translation feed or hinder a poet’s own creative work? Four accomplished poets who translate from Chinese, Romanian, Persian, and Spanish discuss the damaging and/or constructive role of literary translation on their own creative force.
Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S127. The Politics of Translation: Aimé Césaire’s The Tragedy of King Christophe. (Paul Breslin,  Rachel Ney,  Roger Reeves) Panelists discuss politically-charged translation problems in this play, set in postrevolutionary Haiti. How should one translate nègre, which is in most contexts a term of racial abuse, but is for Césaire usually neutral or honorific (its cognate in modern Kreyòl is racially unmarked, meaning simply “man”)? Should nonstandard French be rendered as nonstandard English? Paul Breslin and Rachel Ney present the decisions made in their new translation. Roger Reeves offers a critique of their work.

10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 405, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S145. Sensuality, the Body, and the Quest for Authenticity in Translation. (Johannes Goransson,  Alireza Taheri Araghi ,  Diana Arterian,  Yvette Siegert) When we speak of translation, we often speak (metaphorically) of the body: of mother tongue and foreign tongues, foreign texts and bodies of work, faithfulness and betrayal, contexts and origins, the crossing of boundaries and borders. Meanwhile, translation can entail quite radical experiences of embodiment—of possession by ghosts, ventriloquism and impersonation, vertigo and déjà vu. This panel discusses translation’s implication for embodiments both literal and metaphorical.
Room 410, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S150. Contemporary Multiethnic American Fiction: Obsessions and Innovations. (Namrata Poddar,  Sean Gandert,  Danuta Hinc,  Morgan Jerkins,  JoAnne Ruvoli) How does “ethnic fiction” question the aesthetic assumptions of a more mainstream (white, male) Western mode of storytelling? How do they implicitly or explicitly challenge the geopolitical and cultural borders of the literary “canon”? Five writers of diverse ethnic, cultural, and professional background explore diversity in contemporary American letters by focusing on the novel, the short story, and literary magazines featuring Eastern Europe and African, Italian, Asian, and Latin America.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 411, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S184. Translating the Sacred in a Postreligious Age.(Afaa Michael Weaver,  Ewa Chrusciel,  Cole Swensen,  Karen An-hwei Lee) Our panel explores the translation of sacred texts in our secular age. What is a faithful translation of a religious text? How are concepts of freedom versus fidelity problematized? In a postreligious context, are ritualized methods of translating sacred writings relevant? In diverse tongues of global faith traditions—Hebrew, Chinese, Polish, Aramaic, Greek—our panelists share insights on translating sacred texts, and then discuss the politics and poetics of their strategies.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Diamond Salon 6&7, JW Marriott LA, 3rd Floor S202. Contemporary Korean Literature in Translation: A Cross-Genre Reading and Conversation. (Jake Levine,  Chad Post,  Kim Yi-deum,  Bruce Fulton,  Kyung Ju Kim) Considering the surge in popularity of Korean gadgetry, cars, music, film, and television, there has been, conversely, a considerable deficit of attention paid to contemporary Korean literature abroad. This is changing. Along with the South Korean poets Kim Yi-deum and Kim Kyung Ju, a small group of highly distinguished poets, translators, and publishers will participate in a reading and conversation illustrating why there is no better time than the present for Korean literature in America.
Room 504, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S222. Writing on the Border/Escribiendo en La Frontera.(Katherine Seltzer,  Aaron Romano-Meade,  Alessandra Narvaez-Varela,  Carla Arellano,  Giannina Deza) Located on the US-Mexico border, the University of Texas at El Paso’s Bilingual MFA Program brings together writers from the Borderland, North America, and Latin America. How does a program function with classes in which both Spanish and English are spoken and students have varying degrees of bilingualism? Panelists discuss how the mixing of language, culture, and literary traditions affects their development as writers.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Diamond Salon 6&7, JW Marriott LA, 3rd Floor S236. Translation in the Creative Writing Classroom: A Dire Necessity in Our Global Culture. (Orlando Menes,  Donald Bogen,  Aviya Kushner,  Ae Hee Lee,  Alethea Tusher) This discussion features professors and graduate students in creative writing programs who are committed to literary translation as a craft for crossing borders, cultures, and geographies, not just the traditional notion of “transporting” a text from one language to another. In fact, these writers envision translation as a more holistic and empathic practice, so that engagement with another language is more appropriately described as a weaving of cultures rather than a bridging of cultures.
Room 403 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S243. A Tribute to Donald Revell. (Dean Young,  Kazim Ali,  Claudia Keelan,  Craig Morgan Teicher,  Carey Salerno) This panel honors and celebrates poet, translator, and essayist Donald Revell. For over three decades, Revell has inspired and compelled us with his award-winning work as a quiet American master and mystic. At once innovative and accessible, his writing envelops us in rare incarnations of kindness, adoration, and light. Critics, peers, and writers gather in this tribute to read and discuss Revell’s work, its enduring influence, and ways in which he has shaped American letters.
Room 405, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S246. I’m Not Dead Yet: Translating Living Authors. (Steve Bradbury,  Cole Swensen,  Elizabeth Harris,  Jason Grunebaum,  Adam Sorkin) For a translator, working with living authors offers its own special rewards, challenges, and possibilities. The pleasure of discovery, and of introduction; the movement between languages, contexts, and cultures; the challenge of persuading and negotiation. Four translators who work extensively with living authors discuss the particulars of those relationships: the dangers, delights, and sometimes tricky navigation of language and culture.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room 502 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S282. Brazilian Women Writers. (Tiffany Higgins,  Hilary Kaplan,  Ellen Doré Watson,  Idra Novey,  John Keene) Translators of 20th- and 21st-century poetry and fiction by women from Brazil read from their work and discuss the art of translation and the craft and advocacy inherent in translating writing by women. This panel follows last year’s on translating “Brazilianness” to focus on women writers, the stakes of that categorization, and the vibrant landscape of translations of women’s writing into English. Form, feminism, gender and sexual identity, age, language, race, and class all come into play.
Room 503, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S284. Beyond Neruda: Latin American Women Poets Burn Down the House. (Forrest Gander,  Yvette Seigert,  Jen Hofer,  Jesse Lee Kercheval) Join a celebration of writing by Latin American women poets whose electrifying work responds to the most burning literary and political pressures of their time. These are poets every American reader should know, poets that teachers should add to their syllabi and class reading lists, poets who inspire other poets. The celebration includes readings from translations of Coral Bracho (Mexico), Dolores Dorantes (Mexico), Alaíde Foppa (Guatemala), Circe Maia (Uruguay), Valerie Mejer (Mexico), and Alejandra Pizarnik (Argentina).
Room 505, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level S286. New Directions in Postcolonial Writing: A Passage Through South Asia. (Namrata Poddar,  Sharbari Ahmed,  V.V. Ganeshananthan,  Soniah Kamal,  Nayomi Munaweera) This panel of transnational, transdisciplinary writers (in fiction, nonfiction, and criticism) passes through South Asia to reread contemporary American fiction through a postcolonial, diasporic lens in order to explore the ever-shifting seats of imperial power, the reconfiguration or dissolution of the center-margin dynamic—be it in debates of race, class, gender, ethnicity, history, or geography.


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Transference calls for poetry translation submissions

Transferencepublished by the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, invites submissions of poetry translated into English from Arabic, Chinese, French, Old French, German, Ancient Greek, Latin, or Japanese.  Please also submit a commentary on the translation process, addressing particular challenges posed by the text or specific translation choices.  Contact information, earlier issues, and guidelines at

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