Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eshleman wins Academy of American Poets award

From the AAP website, "CLAYTON ESHLEMAN RECEIVES THE 2008 HAROLD MORTON LANDON TRANSLATION AWARD": The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Clayton Eshleman has been chosen by the poet and translator Jerome Rothenberg as the recipient of the 2008 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Mr. Eshleman is being recognized for his translation of The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo (University of California Press, 2007). This is the second time Mr. Eshleman, who as been translating Vallejo's work for over 45 years, has won the award; the first time was in 2001 for Vallejo's Trilce. The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award is given to the best book of poetry translated from any language into English published in the previous year, and carries a prize of $1,000.

Fast, good, or cheap: pick any two.

Writing for The Smart Set, Jessa Crispin uncovers the shocking rationale for the relative dearth of literature in translation (emphasis mine):
I decide to skip the translation panel I had planned to attend after lunch. The London Book Fair had declared this year’s market focus the Arab World. This meant two things that I could tell. One, instead of just hideously overpriced stale pizzas and soggy sandwiches, you could also now find hideously overpriced Middle Eastern food. Two, at every panel, some publisher had to himself on the back about the increased sales of works in translation. In reality, however, translated works now make up approximately four percent of books published in the English-speaking world, instead of the previous three percent. Whenever a representative from an Arabic publisher stood up during the Q&A section to ask why, if there’s so much interest in translated literature, more literature is not translated, he is answered with awkward silence. “Translation is expensive,” is a general answer given, once someone on a panel realizes no one is going to volunteer to speak first.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gander's translations in NYC

On Saturday, May 3rd, PEN America is sponsoring a panel titled "The Art of ranslation" at the NYU Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th St., at 4 p.m., a reading and discussion with Forrest Gander on the Mexican poet Coral Bracho, Fanny Howe on the Polish poets Henia and Ilona Karmel, and Stephanie Sandler and Genya Turovskaya on the Russian poet Elena Fanailova. Eliot Weinberger will introduce the event. Tickets are free to PEN and PSA members and NYU students or $5 at the door. This event is being cosponsored by Poetry Society of America, Zoland Poetry, and the Creative Writing Program at NYU.

From the PEN America site: "[Gander’s] translations include No Shelter: Selected Poems of Pura Lopez Colome (Graywolf), and (with Kent Johnson) two books by Jaime Saenz, The Night and Immanent Visitor, which was a finalist for the 2003 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Gander’s translations of Coral Bracho’s poems, Firefly Under the Tongue, will be published in spring 2008."