Apply Now for the 2018 Straelener Übersetzerpreis der Kunststiftung NRW

The Straeler Übersetzerpreis der Kunststiftung NRW (Straelen Translation Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalia Arts Foundation) is actually a pair of prizes for translators from German into a different specific language each year. This year’s language is English, so German-English literary translators (from any country) are invited to submit applications for the 2018 competitions. The Hauptpreis (main prize) goes to a translator with a substantial body of work (it’s a lifetime achievement award as well as a prize for a particular book), while the Förderpreis (advancement prize) is awarded to a translator still in the earlier phases of their career. In either case, the application is to contain, in German, a statement describing the challenges of translating the work in question (“kurze Begründung der Preiswürdigkeit der eingereichten Übersetzung”) along with other materials, including four copies of the book. The deadline for the receipt of all materials is January 10, 2018. You’ll find full details and application instructions on the website of the Europäisches Übersetzer-Kollegium in Straelen, a fantastic translators’ colony on the Dutch border in Germany that you all should know about anyhow. It’s a great place to apply for a residency!

Shortlist Announced / Voting Open for 2018 Albertine Prize

The Albertine Prize is unique in that the winner is chosen by you! This prize for a work of contemporary Francophone fiction in English translation honors a book that has found favor with an American readership – hence the public voting. This year’s shortlist was selected by Lydia Davis and French literary critic François Busnel, working together with the Albertine staff and the Book Department at the Cultural Services of the French embassy. Readers are encouraged to check out the shortlist and then vote for their favorites before May 1, 2018. The winner of the Albertine Prize will be announced at an award ceremony on June 6. The Prize comes with a $10,000 purse that according to the website “will be split between the author and translator of the winning title”; I hope that means a 50/50 split this year, since the prize is going to a translated book. (The split last year was 80/20.) To vote, visit the Albertine website. But first, check out this lovely list of finalists! Read more …

Translate at Bread Loaf in Summer 2018

I loved teaching in the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference in 2016, and was delighted when they asked me back to teach again in 2018, this time running the Introductory Workshop designed for newcomers to translation. Here’s the official blurb on my workshop from the Bread Loaf website:

This workshop is ideal for those interested in literary translation who are still acquiring sufficient proficiency in a foreign language, those who do have some language skills but do not yet have a translation sample to submit for critique, students of literature, comparative literature, and creative writing, and teachers who are interested in learning how to incorporate translation into the classroom. The purpose of the workshop will be to acquaint participants with some of the recurring questions, problems, and pleasures of the activity of literary translation. Students will be provided with literary texts from different genres and languages and expected to create translations that will be reviewed in class.

Read more …

Translation on Tap in NYC Dec. 1 – 31, 2017

The year is ending, but it looks like it’ll go out with a bang – just look at all these great translation events to wrap up the year:

Friday, Dec. 1:

The Art of Losing and Finding: A Day of Translation at The New School:

12:00 – 12:45 p.m.: Book Launch: Advances in Embroidery: Poems with Translations from Mahmoud Darwish, by Ahmad Al-Ashqar (¶oets & Traitors Press)

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.: Translators’ Panel: Reading and Discussion featuring Tony Anemone, Alex Cigale, David Stromberg, and James Fuerst, moderated by Val Vinokur

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.: Open Forum on Literary Translation, Publishing, and the University, featuring Tynan Kogane (New Directions Publishing), Kendall Storey (Archipelago Books), Roman Kostovski (Plamen Press), Matvei Yankelevich (Ugly Duckling Presse), Rebekah Smith (Ugly Duckling Presse), Julia Johanne Tolo (PEN America), José Garcia Escobar (Asymptote Journal), Rose Réjouis, Stephanie Leone, David Larsen, Jennifer Hayashida, and others, moderated by Val Vinokur

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Book Launch: The Essential Fictions of Isaac Babel (Northwestern UP), edited, translated, and annotated by Val Vinokur

Read more …

2017 Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation Announced

Every year the Stephen Spender Trust and The Guardian invite translators to submit up to five translated poems to compete for the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation. This prize (created to honor the memory of poet and translator Stephen Spender) is unique in that entries are accepted both in an “open” category and in the categories “18-and-under” and “14-and-under.” Each year’s winners are presented in a booklet made available for download on the Stephen Spender Trust website. This year’s winners were announced at a ceremony in London on Nov. 15. Here they are: Read more …

NEA Announces 2018 Translation Fellowships

The National Endowment for the Arts has just announced its Translation Fellowships for next year, and the news should come as a relief to anyone who feared that the threatened cuts in that organization’s budget would impact its literary programs. (To be sure, an ominous notice on the NEA website reminds us that the appropriations bill governing the fiscal year 2018 budget has not yet been enacted by Congress, but let’s operate on the assumption that it will be.) This year’s fellowships total $300,000 – slightly down from last year’s amount – and will go to 22 translators. As I say every year, this is an excellent use of your tax dollars and guaranteed to produce no civilian casualties. Read more …

2017 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation Announced

Celebratory GIF by Tynan Kogane

I’m almost too excited to work the keyboard right now, because a book I translated, Memoirs of a Polar Bear by the amazing Yoko Tawada, just won the inaugural Warwick Prize for Women in Translation!!! The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation (you have to say its whole name to avoid ambiguity), is the first-ever prize to celebrate work in English translation by women authors, who have traditionally been direly underrepresented in the landscape of literary prizes. Having a prize just for them will help draw attention to all the gorgeous books written by women around the world every year. Read more …


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