Translation at the 2017 PEN World Voices Festival

The PEN World Voices Festival is coming up the first week of May, and a number of the panels on the program feature translation and translators. Here’s the lineup:

Tuesday, May 2:

Corrosive Power: translators Jennifer Hayashida, Julia Sanches, and Ellen Elias-Bursać join the poets they translate, Athena Farrokhzad (who’s Swedish and Iranian) and Noemi Jaffe (who’s Brazilian), to discus the borders of power, gender, language, place, and identity, examining where they intersect and diverge. This event is free. Poet’s House, 10 River Terrace, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 3:

Monkey Business: Japan/America Writers’ Dialogue: translators Motoyuki Shibata and Ted Goossen curate and moderate this conversation with Hiromi Ito, Hiroko Oyamada, Jamaica Kincaid, and Brian Evenson. Ticketed event. Asia Society, 725 Park Ave., 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.


Wednesday, May 3:

A Woman’s Place: In Food, Power, and Writing: Translator Allisson Markin Powell joins Mariana Enriquez, Chitrita Banerji, and Sonya Kharas (with Rohan Kamicheril moderating) to explore the dramas of culinary history, tradition, and the future of food. Free event, RSVP highly recommended. Archestratus Books + Foods, 160 Huron St., 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 4:

What’s Old is New: Gender and Power in Iliazd’s Neglected Rapture: Translator Thomas Kitson speaks with Jennifer Wilson about Iliazd’s novel about a bandit and his lover that offended both Russia’s revolutionaries and their opponents in the 1920s. Free event. NYU Jordan Center, 19 University Place, 5:00 p.m.

Also Thursday, May 4:

Kitchen Table Translation: Migration, Diaspora, Contexts: When the movement of texts is linked with the movement of bodies, language and culture collide with politics, history, race and imperialism – the very contexts of migration. Immigrant and diasporic translators connect personal, cultural, and political dimensions of translation to the technical and aesthetic aspects of their work. With Eiko Otake, Dagmawi Woubshet, and Amy Sara Carroll, moderated by Madhu Kaza. Free event. McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St., 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.

Also Thursday, May 4:

Crises of Empathy: Translation and Migration. Migration and humanitarian crises as well as economic forces continue to disperse people around the globe. The resulting collisions of nation, language, and culture create narratives requiring interpretation and translation—forcing interpreters and translators to answer sociopolitical questions and navigate territory and testimony that goes well beyond the linguistic. Translator (and PEN Translation Committee Co-Chair) Allison Markin Powell speaks with translator Lina Mounter, joined by Jonathan Blitzer and Sahand Keshavarz Rahbar. Free event. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Friday, May 5:

Translation Slam.This is always a favorite PEN World Voices event among translation aficionados. With Greg Pardlo and Katrina Dodson facing off (translating  Noemi Jaffe), and Janine Beichuan challenging Keith Vincent (translating Hiromi Ito), hosted by translator Michael Moore. Ticketed event. Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Also Friday, May 5:

Lit Crawl (free events):

A Most Exquisite Corpse: Four translator-author teams join to create a multilingual exquisite corpse (one person writes the first page of a story, the final line of that page is sent to the next writer, who continues the story, and so on). The team will include translators Sean Bye, Saskia Vogel, Elisabeth Jaquette, David Ball, and Nicole Ball, as well as writers Filip Springer, Francisco Cantú, Abdourahman Waberi, and Karolina Ramqvist. Free event. Court Street Grocers, 540 LaGuardia Place, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Translating Women’s Voices: Translators Tess Lewis, Susan Bernofsky, Kaiama L. Glover, and Katrine Øgaard Jensen read from their work, followed by a discussion on the importance of translating work by women, moderated by translator Alta L. Price. NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Mysticism and Mastery in Middle Eastern Poetry: A conversation between translator Peter Cole and Brad Gooch on timeless and timely Middle Eastern poetry and mysticism. NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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