Translation Events at 2013 PEN World Voices Festival

So this looks to be a pretty good year for translation at the PEN World Voices Festival. I just blogged about the workshop I’ll be offering, and besides that, there are several other events designed to warm the cockles of my translationista heart. The last two events on the list below are classics in different ways.

The Translation Slam has been a perennial PWV favorite since we started putting it on six years ago. The slam commissions competing translations of two different poems, and then puts each pair of translators on stage to duke it out discuss their work with each other, the poet of the original text, and the audience. Michael Moore (the translator, not the filmmaker) has provided hilarious moderation year after year, so I am sure he will not disappoint this year either.

And then there’s the yearly panel sponsored by the PEN Translation Committee. In recent years we’ve put on panels about Copyright and Translation, and Reviewing Translations, and this year the panel will be devoted to investigating the money trail behind the translation-publishing business. Should be eyeopening in all the best ways. So I hope you’ll check out these two panels and all the rest of the translation programing at PWV this year. I’ve linked the title of each event to its page on the PWV website, where you’ll find complete ticketing and venue information.

Behold the list:

TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 9:30-11 p.m.
Participants: Michal Ajvaz, Francisco Goldman, Clancy Martin, Wyatt Mason, José Luís Peixoto, Francesco Pacifico, and others
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St, NYC
McSweeney’s contributors read excerpts from their translations in McSweeney’s Issue 42—an ambitious experiment which took twelve stories through six phases of translation, granting each translator creative license to change the story at will.

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 1-3 p.m.
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
Acclaimed translator and PEN Translation Committee Chair Susan Bernofsky offers up some tips for navigating the rough waters of copyrights, permissions, publishing, getting paid, and then getting to do it all over again.

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 8:30-10 p.m.
Participants: James Byrne with Zeyar Lynn
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House of NYU, 58 W. 10th St, NYC

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 8:30-10 p.m.
Participants: Staceyann Chin, Najwan Darwish, and others. Hosted by Michael F. Moore.
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
A poet reads from his or her work in its original language, followed by a translator who will choose English words to replace the original text. The translators are then tasked with defending these choices to the poet—and the audience. A Festival favorite for six years running!

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 1-2:30 p.m.
Participants: Esther Allen, Jordi Punti, Ira Silverberg, Michael Reynolds. Moderated by William Marx
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
This panel will explore how funding, policy decisions, and market forces determine which international literary works see the light of day—in English—and which do not.

Could you ask for a better line-up?

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