Archive for September 2015

Goodmorning Menagerie’s 2nd Annual Chapbook Translation Prize

MenagerieThings worked out well last year with the Goodmorning Menagerie chapbook translation prize (including new and improved translation rights instructions), so they’re running it again. Who’s in? For a pay-what-you-will submission fee, you can compete for the chance to have your work appear in a limited-edition handmade chapbook with a woodblock-printed cover that will come SignTongueout in time for AWP 2016. Any questions? Check out submission details on the GM website, and make sure to submit by Halloween. Oh, and congratulations to last year’s winners, poet Enrique Winter and translator David McLoghlin, who together produced Sign Tongue.

Translation on Tap in NYC, Oct. 1 – 15, 2015

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Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Happy October! Here’s what on the translation horizon:

Thursday, Oct. 1:

Circumference Reading Series: The poetry-in-translation journal Circumference returns to its Columbia University roots with an open-to-the-public reading on campus featuring translation faculty Edith Grossman and Rowan Ricardo Phillips along with alumna Yvette Siegert, moderated by alumna Hilary Vaughn Dobel. More information here. 501 Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2:


Sara Novic

Us & Them: A Writer/Translator Reading Series. The Fall 2015 installment of this reading series featuring writers who are also translators reading both their own and translated work will present Idra Novey translating Garous Abdolmalekian (Persian); Sara Novic translating Izet Sarajlić (Bosnian); Matt Turner translating Lu Xun & Fei Ming (Chinese) and Alex Woodend translating Bei Dao (Chinese). Molasses Books, 770 Hart St. (Dekalb L), Brooklyn, 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 7:

Bilingual French Crime Novels Night at the Cornelia Street Cafe, featuring translator Donald Nicholson Smith (reading from his translation of the French
American Foundation Translation Prize-winning novel The Mad and the Bad by Patrick Manchette) joined by students from NYU’s French translation program (Laurel Hogan, Aimee Ashcraft, Talia Behrend-Wilcox, Cecelia Ramsey, and Stephanie Queiroz) reading their translations from Emmanuel Grand’s Pavillon rouge a La Baule. More information here. The $9 cover charge includes a drink. 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 8:

Launch event for the Library of Arabic Literature’s new English-only series of Arabic classics featuring translator/novelist Sinan Antoon joined by Amitav Ghosh, Elias Khoury, moderated by Marina Warner and Philip Kennedy. According to the official event description, the challenges of translating modern and pre-modern Arabic literature for a contemporary English-speaking audience will be one of the topics discussed. More information here. The Center for Fiction, 17 E. 47th St., RSVP recommended, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 14:

Translator/poet Matvei Yankelevich will be reading from his poems and translations in the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, more information here, Klepper Hall, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Queens, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 15:

Launch event for the Complete Works of Primo Levi with translator Ann Goldstein, who edited this three-fat-volume edition, joined by John Turturro, David Remnick, and Robert Weil. Tickets start at $22 (information here). At the 92nd St. Y, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., 8:15 p.m.

2015 ALTA Mentorships Announced

ALTA_2015_Program_cvr-50This year ALTA (the American Literary Translators Association) is starting a new mentorship program designed to pair emerging translators with seasoned pros for a year of expert guidance. The first year of the program is modest by design: three mentorships are being offered in three languages. Assuming all goes well during this pilot year, the idea is to expand the program in future years. The single largest challenge involved in this expansion is finding additional donors able to support new mentorships, either in a particular language area or “at large.” (If you have ideas for funding sources or would like more information on funding a mentorship yourself, please get in touch!) The costs of the program include an honorarium for mentors and travel expenses for participants to attend the yearly conference, where mentors can work with their mentees in person; for most of the year, the advising sessions take place by telephone, email, and video chat. This program is an important addition to ALTA’s support of emerging translators, and I am thrilled to see it taking shape. Special kudos to the civic-minded translators behind ELTNA (the Emerging Literary Translators Network in America), who were instrumental in the development of this new program.

And now (drumroll) here are the three emerging translators selected from a group of more than 60 applicants to participate in ALTA’s first-ever mentorship program:

Scott Shanahan (Catalan) – who will work with Ronald Puppo

Anna Zaranko (Polish) – who will work with Bill Johnston

Joyce Zonana (French) – who will work with Alyson Waters

Wishing all mentors and mentees a productive and energizing collaboration!

2015 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award Announced

Guarding the airThe Harold Morton Landon Translation Award has been given out by the Academy of American Poets annually since 1976. Previous recipients of this $1000 award include Susanna Nied, Robert Fagles, Jen Hofer, and W.S. Merwin (full list here). This year’s prize, judged by Bill Johnston, goes to Roger Greenwald for his translation of Guarding the Air: Selected Poems of Gunnar Harding.

2015 ALTA Fellows Announced

ALTA_2015_Program_cvr-50Every year the American Literary Translators Association gives out 5 or 6 $1000 fellowships to emerging translators attend the annual conference (to be held this year in Tucson, AZ, the last week of October, details here). ALTA Fellows present their work in a festive reading the first evening (Thursday) of the conference – it’s great exposure (everyone goes), and they have many other opportunities in the course of the conference to connect with established translators who share their language areas and interests. This year’s slate of fellows has just been announced:

Claire Eder (French)
Anne Greeott (Italian & Spanish)
Audrey Hall (Spanish)
Christiana Hills (French)
Canaan Morse (Chinese)

Visit the ALTA website for full profiles of each of the 2015 Fellows and information about the conference. Congratulations, Claire, Anne, Audrey, Christiana, and Canaan – I look forward to meeting you!

2015 PEN Center USA Translation Award Announced

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.18.46 AMThe PEN Center USA (with headquarters in California, not to be confused with the PEN American Center with headquarters in NYC) has just announced its 2015 literary award winners, including in the category of literary translation. This year’s prize goes to Ainsley Morse & Peter Golub for their translation of Anatomical Theater by Andrei Sen-Senkov (Zephyr Press). Three runners-up have also been named as a longlist:

Dick Cluster, for A Corner of the World by Mylene Fernández-Pintado (City Lights)
Jessica Cohen, for Falling Out of Time by David Grossman (Alfred A. Knopf)
Susan McLean, for Selected Epigrams of Martial (University of Wisconsin Press)

This year’s panel of judges included Sean Cotter, Piotr Florczyk and Anthoyn Seidman. Congratulations to all the translators whose work was honored!

Translation on Tap in NYC, Sept. 16 – 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.01.22 PMIt’s Brooklyn Book Festival time, and there’ll be a lot of juicy translation-flavored events before, during, and after the main day of festivities (Sunday, Sept. 20). You’ll find a complete festival program here. Henri_Duchemin_1024x1024But I picked out the translationlicious plums for you:

Thursday, Sept. 17:

Discovering Emmanuel Bove: A Discussion with Donald Breckenridge and translator Alyson Waters apropos of the publication of Henri Duchemin and His Shadows, more information here. Albertine, 972 Fifth Avenue, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 18:

PEN Translation Presents: “Expressive Expedients,” on the translation of works containing both words and images, with Robert Bononno, Cobina Gillitt, Alyson Waters, and Hans Witschi, moderated by Alta Price.


Die Mücke (The Gnat), ©Hans Witschi

By the way, Hans Witschi isn’t a translator per se, he’s a really wonderful painter who lives in the East village. I’m a huge fan of his work and think he’s brilliant. There’s also an extremely impressive lineup of translators in this event, so it should be pretty spectacular all round. More information here. A Public Space, 323 Dean St., Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 20:

PEN Translation Presents: “Translating Books for Youth,” with translators Claudia Zoe Bedrick, Julia Heim, Mara Lethem, and Lyn Miller-Lachmann, moderated by Alex Zucker. This one’s an official BBF event. More information here. St. Francis College Workshop Room, 180 Remsen St., 2:00 p.m.

Also Sunday, Sept. 20:

​Community Bookstore presents: A Celebration of Elena Ferrante, featuring translator Ann Goldstein, joined by Michael Reynolds, Lauren Groff and Lisa Lucas. More information here. St. Francis McArdle, 180 Remsen St., 5:00 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 21:

Net Lit Unlimited: A discussion on the limits and un-limits of sharing literature on the net, with translators Katy Derbyshire and Eric M.B. Becker, joined by Geoff Mak. If you don’t know Katy’s blog yet, check it out!.Event information here. Goethe-Institut, 30 Irving Place, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 22:

The things we don’t do: Andrés Neuman in conversation with translator Heather Cleary apropos of the publication of The Things We Don’t Do, translated by Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia. More information here. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 23:

Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov (The Physics of Sorrow) in conversation with translator Eric Becker  and Milena Deleva. More information here. Consulate Innocence-Cov-409x600General of the Republic of Bulgaria, 121 E. 62nd St., 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 24:

In Celebration of Heda Margolius Kovály’s Lost Novel: Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street, with translator Alex Zucker. More information here. Greenpoint Public Library, 107 Norman Ave. at Leonard St., Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m.

Also Thursday, Sept. 24:

Launch event for The Guilty by renowned Mexican author, playwright, and journalist Juan Villoro, with the book’s translator Kimi Traube joined by Valeria Luiselli and Naief Yehya. More information here. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., 7:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 25:

Launch event for Anti-Education by Friedrich Nietzsche featuring the book’s translator, Damion Searls, joined by Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, moderated by Mark Greif. More information here. NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, 6:30 p.m.


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