The Workshops: Translation

July 7-14, 2018

The Translator’s Voice: a Polyglot Workshop

When Jorge Luis Borges famously stated that “the original is unfaithful to the translation,” he turned the Italian adage traduttore, traditore (translator, traitor) on its head. In the same vein, this creative writing workshop places its focus squarely on the art of literary translation, or rather, transcreation, “an adaptation of a creative work into another language or culture,” a perfect counterpart to Kenyon Review’s long tradition of Writers Workshops. Likewise, the Kenyon Review has a proud history of publishing translation (by Elizabeth Bishop and W.S. Merwin, to name only two) and is committed to strengthening its acquisitions of outstanding literary translations as well as fostering the translator’s craft.

The week-long non-language-specific workshop offers an opportunity for aspiring and mid-career literary translators with a variety of professional backgrounds to couple their creative writing interests with their passion for working between languages. Writers focus on close reading and experimentation with language and style from a strong second language into English. The workshop is conducted seminar-style and activities focus on literary translation as a cross-cultural, creative endeavor, using theoretical readings and examples of works of master translators as guides. By the end of the week, writers will have finished a polished translation that they may continue to prepare for publication.

The workshop is limited to 10 participants. Applicants are screened on a rolling basis and are required to submit a translation sample of 500 words of prose or three pages of poetry from their source language into English. The workshop takes place from 9-12:30 each morning and consists of readings, discussion and translation work. Afternoons are reserved for informal conversation, individual writing time, and private consultation with instructors, and evenings are dedicated to bilingual readings, all on one of the country’s most beautiful and literary campuses. This class is team taught by Elizabeth Lowe, professor of translation at New York University and founder of the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Illinois, and Katherine M. Hedeen, professor of Spanish and literary translation at Kenyon College.

Questions? Please email writers@kenyonreview.org or call 740-427-5196

The application site will open in early January 2018.

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