Women in Translation Month Bilingual Reading
7:30 PM19:30

Women in Translation Month Bilingual Reading

August marks the fifth year celebrating Women in Translation (#WiT) Month. Only a tiny fraction of the literature published in English every year—under 5 percent—was originally written in another language, and a mere 25 percent of that 5 percent (1.25%) was written by women. Books by women in translation also get far less review coverage, award nominations, and bookstore promotion, and as a result, have a harder time making it into readers’ hands.

Launched by blogger Meytal Radzinski in 2014, WiT Month shines a light on this disparity and gives a platform to the women authors and translators who enrich our literary landscape and broaden our cultural horizons. Since its inception, readers, translators, bookstores, publishers, and other literary organizations have taken up Meytal’s simple challenge to “1) increase the dialogue and discussion about women in translation and 2) read more books by women in translation” and redoubled their efforts to magnify the voices of women writing around the world. After all, gender disparity in translation not only deprives us of meaningful and exciting literary works, it also represents a real constraint on freedom of expression around the world.

This event, organized under the aegis of the PEN America Translation Committee, brings together six translators working in five different languages: French, Icelandic, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Each translator will read from works by women they translate, both in the original language and in her own translation. After the reading, we’ll have time for a short Q&A and discussion.



Catherine Maigret Kellogg was born in France and worked in marketing before discovering a passion for literary translation. Her co-translation, with Nancy Naomi Carlson, of Suzanne Dracius’ The Dancing Other is her first published work. She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Translation at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Elina Alter is a writer and translator from Russian. Her recent translations of the writer Alla Gorbunova have appeared in The New England Review and The Nashville Review. Elina was a 2018 ALTA Travel Fellow and 2019 Fellow at Tent. She lives in New York. 

Jacqui Cornetta is a poet, translator, and musician. Her work can be found in places like Words Without BordersCUNY Poetics Document Initiative: Lost & Found, and A Perfect Vacuum. She received an MFA in Literary Translation from Queens College and is Translation Editor at The Puerto Rico Review.

Kira Josefsson is a writer and translator working between English and Swedish, with work published in Words Without Borders, Granta, Triple Canopy, Exchanges, and elsewhere. Her in-progress translation of Pooneh Rohi's Araben received a 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. She's part of the editorial team for Anomaly's translation section and the editorial board for Swedish journal Glänta.

Larissa Kyzer is an Icelandic-English literary translator based in Brooklyn. Her translation of Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s novel A Fist or a Heart will be published in September 2019. Larissa holds an MA in Translation Studies from the University of Iceland and will be the fall 2019 Translator in Residence at Princeton University.

Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet and translator. Recipient of an NEA translation grant, she’s been decorated with the French Academic Palms. Her work has appeared in APR, The Paris Review, and Poetry, and she is a translation editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

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Poetry Translation Slam at PEN World Voices Festival
7:00 PM19:00

Poetry Translation Slam at PEN World Voices Festival

From the PEN World Voices event write-up:

The Festival favorite returns! Witness an illuminating and exhilarating literary debate with competing translations of Japanese and Icelandic poems. Then, join an interactive discussion on the art of translation with Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný and Japanese writer Kanako Nishi, who will be joined by literary translators Larissa Kyzer, Kara B. Thors, Terry Gallagher, and Iyasu Nagata. Hosted by Allison Markin Powell and Björn Halldórsson.

Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

May 9
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Tickets $12 in advance; $15 at the door.
Purchase tickets here.

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Translation Work-in-Progress Reading
7:00 PM19:00

Translation Work-in-Progress Reading

Come hear seven translators read from their work in progress and talk about the challenges they're facing, with plenty of time for socializing and discussion. Invited readers are Janine Beichman, Vivian O'Shaughnessy, Alex Zucker, Nancy Kline, Larissa Kyzer, Norman MacAfee, and Mara Faye Lethem, reading translations from Japanese, French, Czech, Icelandic, Italian, and Catalan.

Hosted by PEN America’s Translation Committee.

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Experimental Translation Workshop (Reykjavík, Iceland)
1:00 PM13:00

Experimental Translation Workshop (Reykjavík, Iceland)

A one-day session part of the multilingual, multicultural, multimedia writing lab that was designed by Iceland-based Canadian poet Angela Rawlings. The workshop is co-sponsored by Borgarbókasafn (the Reykjavík Public Library), Söguhringur kvenna, Ós Pressan, and W.O.M.E.N.

Angela has designed and will be leading four sessions of this writing lab for cis and trans women of foreign origin. My own session will be focused on translation (although no special translation - or language - skills are necessary), specifically the process of translating collaboratively with an author who writes in a language that you, the translator, do not speak. I’ve worked like this once myself before, translating a poem from Polish in close collaboration with the poet, and it was a really fascinating and illuminating process.

Other sessions—including one on authorial identities and writing in a second language, and one in which participants' writing will be transformed into audio—will be facilitated by our fellow Ós Pressan members Elena Ilkova, Ewa Marcinek, and Randi W. Stebbins.

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