It’s a big month coming up in Translationland NYC, with a huge number of events in which translators will present their work or otherwise take part. The month’s big disappointment is that the PEN World Voices Festival, for the first time in its 15 years of existence (and remember that it was co-founded by a translator: Esther Allen!) will be presenting only a single translation-themed event as part of its programming. In previous years, there have been several events each year foregrounding literary translation. I very much hope that this will be corrected in the future, especially as literary translators represent the largest single group within the membership of PEN America. But at least the festival’s new director Chip Rolley didn’t cut the Translation Slam (see below). And – as usual – translators will be putting in appearances as conversation partners and moderators on a number of other panels (see below).
Thursday, May 2:
Launch party for Star by Yukio Mishima, featuring translator Sam Bett. More information here. Molasses Books, 770 Hart St., Brooklyn, 8:00 p.m. (see also May 10)
Friday, May 3:
Self-portrait of an Other: Translating for a Globalised World: I’m breaking Translationista’s rule of publishing only events featuring a translator because publisher Naveen Kishore (Seagull Books) will be town from Kolkata – a rare occurrence! – speaking about his work with Peter Hitchcock. CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Rm. 5414, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Also Friday, May 3:
Intimate Ties: Launch event for this book of novellas by Robert Musil featuring the book’s translator, Peter Wortsman, joined by translator Tess Lewis, Fatima Naqvi, and Kathrin Holzermyer Rosenfield (who translated the book into Portuguese). More information here. NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, 6:00 p.m.
Also Friday, May 3:
El chiste de Dios: translator Daniel Shapiro joins Luisa Valenzuela for a reading and conversation about her latest book of stories. More information here. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St., 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 7:
Oppression Rewritten: translator Valzhyna Mort joins Kwame Dawes for a conversation on their work as poets. PEN World Voices Festival, free event, RSVP required, more information here. Poet’s House, 10 River Terrace, 7:00 p.m.
Also Tuesday, May 7:
First Tuesdays Presents: Translator Donald Nicholson-Smith will be joining the open-mic line-up at Espresso 77, $5 purchase required, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Heights (Queens), 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 8:
The Politics of Poetry: translator Valzhyna Mort joins Kirill Medvedev, Marianna Kiyanovska, and Simone White for a conversation on their work as poets. PEN World Voices Festival, free event, RSVP requested, more information here. The Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St., 7:00 p.m.
Also Wednesday, May 8:
Reading by Raúl Zurita: translator William Rowe joins poet Raúl Zurita and Norma Cole for conversation after Zurita’s reading from his new book of poems (Inri), translated by Rowe. PEN World Voices Festival, tickets required, more information here. St. Marks Church, 131 E. 10th St., 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 9:
PEN World Voices Festival Translation Slam: For this popular event, two writers have a short work translated by two translators each, who then present their competing translations for a friendly literary showdown and conversation also including the author. Tickets for this one tend to sell out fast, so get yours now! This year’s contestants include Larissa Kyzer and Kara B. Thors translating Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný, and Terry Gallagher and Iyasu Nagata translating Japanese writer Kanako Nishi. Hosted by translator Allison Markin Powell and Björn Halldórsson. Tickets required, more information here. Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., 7:00 p.m.
Also Thursday, May 9:
Resonances: Translator Esther Allen moderates this conversation with Niviaq Korneliussen, Bridgett M. Davis, Gabrielle Bell, and Willivaldo Delgadillo. PEN World Voices Festival, free event, RSVP recommended, more information here. Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, 135 E. 22nd St., 6:00 p.m.
Also Thursday, May 9:
Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition: Translators Jennifer Croft and Rowan Ricardo Phillips are among the lineup of readers (also including Felicity Castagna, Inês Pedrosa, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Pajtim Statovci, Najat El Hachmi, Wu Ming-yi, Gabriela Wiener, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Helen Phillips, Jen Silverman, Darcey Steinke, and Dana Czapnik) for this perambulatory event. PEN World Voices Festival, ticketed event, more information here. Westbeth Artists Housing and Center for the Arts, 55 Bethune St., 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, May 10:
Terrible Truths: Confronting History and Memory: Translator Uli Baer moderates this conversation with Daniel Blaufuks, Catherine Filloux, Tanisha Ford, and Domenico Starnone. PEN World Voices Festival, free event, RSVP recommended, more information here. NYU Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews, 6:00 p.m.
Also Friday, May 10:
Screening of Afraid to Die (1960), starring Yukio Mishima and directed by Yasuzo Masumura. Screening introduced by Sam Bett, translator of Yukio Mishima’s Star, based on his experience of performing in this film. Ticketed event, more information here. Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St., 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 11:
Voices of the Silenced: Translator Idra Novey participates in a conversation with Scholastique Mukasonga, and Marcia Tiburi, moderated by Karen M. Phillips. PEN World Voices Festival, free event, RSVP recommended, more information here. Albertine Books, 972 Fifth Ave., 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 18:
Play for Voices Listening Party: Translator Walter Byongsok Chon will be in attendance for the presentation of the latest Play for Voices radio play production: The Doppelgänger by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The presentation will be followed by informal conversation with the Play for Voices production team. More information here. Be Electric Studios, Studio 1, 1298 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, May 20:
Read Russia presents Olga Slavnikova: translators Marian Schwartz and Ian Dreiblatt join Slavnikova for a conversation. More information here. Grolier Club,47 E. 60th St., 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 22:
All the Land: Launch event for this book translated by Katy Derbyshire, featuring translator Tess Lewis in conversation with author Jo Lendle. More information here. McNally Jackson, 76 N. 4th St., Brooklyn, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 23:
Prize ceremony for the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize and the Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York. More information here. Goethe-Institut NY, 30 Irving Place, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 24:
Read Russia presents Olga Slavnikova and Guzel Yakhina: translators Lisa C. Hayden and Ian Dreiblatt join Slavnikova and Yakhina for a conversation. More information here. Book Culture, 536 W. 112th St., 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 30
Book launch for Book of Minutes by Gemma Gorga featuring the book’s translator, Sharon Dolin, in conversation with Gorga. More information here. Book Culture, 536 W. 112th St., 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 31:
An Evening of Catalan Poetry: Translator Sharon Dolin joins Gemma Gorga and Ernest Farrés for readings and conversation. More information here. Berl’s Poetry Shop, Brooklyn, 7:00 p.m.