Archive for March, 2012

Becka Mara McKay on teaching translation

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Over at the Words Without Borders blog, Becka McKay (translator of Blue Has No South and Lunar Savings Time) guest-posts about teaching graduate translation workshops:

I was hired in 2009 to teach translation in Florida Atlantic University’s MFA program—something that had never been offered in the MFA curriculum. To encourage as many students as possible to register for the translation workshop, I decided that I would not require that they know a second language. Working from the premise that proficiency and flexibility in English were the most important requirements for students in this particular workshop—and that together we would find resources to assist their understanding the various source languages—the translation workshop has, over the last three years, produced some remarkable projects. These include:

  • A translation/stage adaptation of The Tale of Genji  set in a postapocalyptic Japan
  • A hybrid form that I am still searching for a way to name that consists of a translation of a Strindberg short story woven together with a lyric essay about the translator’s process
  • Translations of Hawaiian petroglyphs
  • A plan for a scratch-and-sniff, pop-up book translation of the Song of Songs
  • A graphic version of Don Quixote
  • An adaptation of a feminist Senegalese novel as a series of blog entries written by an African-American woman from Alabama
Read the rest here.

Sunetra Gupta in Western Mass

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

For those of you who are local, some wonderful events this week: On Thursday, March 29, Sunetra Gupta, author of So Good in Black, will read with poet Brenda Coultas as part of UMass Amherst’s Visiting Writers Series. Come join us at Memorial Hall at 8 pm.

On Friday, Sunetra will read at Booklink Booksellers in Thorne’s Market in Northampton at 7 pm.

Love to see you there!

Sherman Alexie on Alex Epstein

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Years ago at BEA we were told that Twitter would save independent publishing. Well, not that exactly, but close enough—everywhere we turned the word was “Twitter.” And we’ve been on Twitter ever since, to some degree, although often not quite sure what to make of it: optimistic but bemused. Today, however, I should officially note that any last doubts have been dispelled. Not only has Alex Epstein recently been conducting great new experiments in how Facebook and Twitter can become sites for literature, but today we had another encounter that wouldn’t have been possible, really, before these sorts of venues: a lovely note from Sherman Alexie (!), praising Alex Epstein: “Today, I fell in love with his very short stories.” A very nice glow with which to start the week.