Wednesday, March 28, 2012
A Queens College Trends in Translation Event
The MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation,
Archipelago Books, & the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) at the CUNY Graduate Center
To celebrate the new collaboration between Queens College and Archipelago Books, the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation presents a one-day symposium on writing and translation. This symposium, which forms part of the Queens College Year of Turkey, will present writers and translators featured in recent Archipelago Books publications as well as others working in the literatures of Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Israel.
Archipelago Books, founded in 2004 and based in Brooklyn, is currently one of the foremost publishers of literature in translation. Archipelago books have received prizes including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Academy of American Poets Translation Award, and the French-American Foundation/Florence Gould Translation Prize, and have been selected as an NPR Pick for Best Foreign Fiction of the Year. Archipelago’s list of authors includes prominent writers translated from Turkish, Polish, Bengali, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Norwegian, Afrikaans, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Basque, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Greek, Icelandic and Arabic.
The MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College is one of only two MFA programs in the country to offer a track in literary translation. Further, students specializing in all branches of creative writing are encouraged to study translation, creating a real community of writers who relish diversity and global connections.
(All panels prior to 6:30pm keynote address located in
President’s Conference Room #2)
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Reading by MFA Students, introduced by Nicole Cooley
12:00 p.m. - l:00 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Workshop: Editing Translations, introduced by Susan Bernofsky
Jill Schoolman (Archipelago Books)
Edwin Frank (New York Review Books Classics)
2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
The Politics of Translation – On Navigating Cultural (Mis)understandings
Aron Aji (Turkish)
Sara Khalili (Persian)
Barbara Harshav (Hebrew)
Roger Sedarat, moderator
5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The Writer as Translator – Multilingual Writer/Translators on Cross-Pollinations in Their Work
Sinan Antoon (Arabic)
Murat Nemet-Nejat (Turkish)
Ammiel Alcalay (Hebrew)
Susan Bernofsky, moderator
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Rosenthal Library 230 (2nd floor auditorium)
Keynote Presentation: Elias Khoury (Arabic/Lebanon): A Writer’s Journey
To be followed by light reception and book signing.
Aron Aji has translated works by Turkish authors including Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan and Elif Shafak. His translation of Karasu’s The Garden of Departed Cats received the 2004 National Translation Award. He just completed the translation of Karasu’s A Long Day’s Evening, supported in part by an NEA Translation Fellowship, and scheduled for publication in Fall 2012, by City Lights. Aji is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at St. Ambrose University-Davenport, Iowa, and teaches as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa’s MFA in Translation program.
Ammiel Alcalay’s books include Islanders (City Lights), neither wit nor gold: from then (Ugly Duckling), Scrapmetal (Factory School), Memories of Our Future (City Lights), After Jews and Arabs(University of Minnesota Press), and the cairo noteboooks (Singing Horse Press). A Little History and a second edition of from the warring factions are due from re:public/UpSet in 2012. He has translated widely from Bosnian and Hebrew and is the initiator and General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.
Sinan Antoon has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and two novels: I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (City Lights, 2006) translated to Norwegian, German, Portuguese, and Italian. His second novel, The Pomegranate Alone, was published in 2010 in Beirut. His translations include Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book In the Presence of Absence (Archipelago Books) and a selection of Saadi Youssef's late poetry (forthcoming from Graywolf in 2012). He is an assistant professor at New York University and co-founder and co-editor of the cultural page of Jadaliyya.
Translator and author Susan Bernofsky, Chair of the PEN Translation Committee, has translated 18 books, including six by the great Swiss-German modernist writer Robert Walser, as well as novels by Jenny Erpenbeck, Yoko Tawada, Hermann Hesse, Gregor von Rezzori and others. She received the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize and the 2012 Hermann Hesse Translation Prize as well as awards and fellowships from the NEH, the NEA, the PEN Translation Fund, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. She teaches in the MFA program at Queens College (CUNY) and blogs about translation at www.translationista.org.
Nicole Cooley is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College.
Edwin Frank is the editor of the New York Review Books Classics series.
Barbara Harshav started her professional life as an historian, and fell into translating about thirty years ago. She has published more than 50 books of translations (from Hebrew, French, German, and Yiddish). She has translated such Israeli authors as the Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon, the playwright Hanoch Levin, the poet Yehuda Amichai, and the novelist Meir Shalev. For the last ten years, she has taught a seminar-workshop in translation in the department of Comparative Literature at Yale University and a seminar-workshop in Yiddish translation at the YIVO-Bard College Institute in January 2012. She lives in her library-study in North Haven, Connecticut.
Sara Khalili is an editor and translator of contemporary Iranian literature. Her translations include Shahriar Mandanipour’s Censoring an Iranian Love Story and Shahrnush Parsipur’s Prison Memoir. Her short story translations have appeared in The Literary Review, The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Words without Borders, and PEN America. Her translations of poetry include The Sorrow of Solitude, Poems of Forough Farrokhzad; and My Country, I Shall Build You Again, Poems of Simin Behbahani. Sara was a contributing translator to Strange Times My Dear: A PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature.
Elias Khoury, born in Beirut in 1948, is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and critic. He was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Le Monde Diplomatique, The Christian Science Monitor, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and a Notable Book by The New York Times and The Kansas City Star. Khoury’s Yalo (a L.A. Times Notable Book), White Masks, Little Mountain, The Journey of Little Gandhi, and City Gates have also been translated into English. Khoury is a public intellectual and a cultural activist who plays a major role in contemporary Arabic culture and in the defense of freedom of expression and human rights. His forthcoming As Though She Were Sleeping received France's inaugural Arabic Novel Prize.
Murat Nemet-Nejat Murat Nemet-Nejat has translated the work of a number of modern and contemporary Turkish poets. His book of translations of the poet Orhan Veli, called I, Orhan Veli, was published by Hanging Loose Press. Sun and Moon Press has just published his translation of Ece Ayhan's books, A Blind, Black Cat, and Orthodoxies. Issue #14 of Talisman magazine featured his versions of the work of a number of modern Turkish poets including, among others, Ece Ayhan, Cemal Sureya, Ilhan Berk, Behcet Necatigil, and Melisa Gurpinar.
Jill Schoolman in the founder of Archipelago Books. www.archipelagobooks.org
Roger Sedarat is the author of two poetry collections, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP’s 2007 Hollis Summers’ Open Book Competition, and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). His translations of modern and classical Persian poetry have recently appeared in World Literature Today, Drunken Boat, Asymptote, and Words in the Dust (a novel published by Arthur A. Levine, 2011). He teaches poetry and translation in the MFA program at Queens College, CUNY.