Meet the ’18 Mentees: Jennifer Kellogg

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. Congratulations to this year’s non-language-specific poetry mentee, Jennifer Kellogg, who will be mentored by Kareem James Abu-Zeid:

Jennifer Kellogg PhotoJennifer R. Kellogg is a scholar of modern and ancient Greece who resides in Rochester, NY. Ardent about the ancient world from a young age, Jennifer earned a BA in Classical Philology from Beloit College and spent her junior year abroad at College Year in Athens, Greece. While in Athens, Jennifer began a journey to fluency in modern Greek by helping her friends buy cigarettes and ask for directions in a sprawling metropolis. After college, Jennifer earned a Masters Degree in West European Studies from Indiana University and completed her training in Modern Greek.

From 2000 until 2009, Jennifer worked at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. There she gained a lifelong appreciation for Homeric Greek, organized many scholarly conferences and projects, and led the charge to open a research and teaching center for Harvard University in Nafplion, Greece. The CHS Greece facility recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and continues to be a hub of innovative cross-cultural education and research.

In 2013, Jennifer earned her PhD in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium. Her dissertation was entitled George Seferis’ Poetics: Loss and the Language of Topos and was a study of twentieth century modern Greek poet George Seferis, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1963. The focus of her dissertation was how George Seferis’ poetry articulates ideas and images of homeland. Jennifer translated all of the Greek texts cited, including re-translating dozens of Seferis’ poems. This experience introduced Jennifer to the world of literary translation beyond academic or philological translation.

Jennifer is very lucky to reside in Rochester, NY, a town with a vibrant literary translation scene, thanks to Open Letter Press at the University of Rochester. With the encouragement of many translator friends, Jennifer decided to work on a manuscript of her poetry translations. Her work-in-progress is of George Seferis’ Book of Exercises II, published posthumously in 1976. Most of the poems in this volume have not yet appeared in English. Book of Exercises II is a collection of drafts, experiments, and final poems drawn from the poet’s diaries spanning 1931 to 1971.

Jennifer is looking forward to tackling the variety of poetic forms in Book of Exercises II— haiku, aphorisms, rhyming limericks, short verses, and free verse poems—with the support of the ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship program.

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