11 August 14 | Chad W. Post

The Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference (which should’ve been named “Translation Loaf”) is a great new initiative that was conceived of and implemented by Jennifer Grotz, poet, translator, assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Open Letter’s poetry editor, and one that a lot of you will probably want to attend.

The Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference is an annual, week-long conference based on the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model that’s designed to provide training and community to beginning as well as experienced literary translators. A natural complement to two of Middlebury College’s signature programs—the Writers’ Conference and the renowned Middlebury Language Schools—this conference aims to strengthen the visibility and access to high quality literary translations in the United States and to acknowledge that translators require the same training and skills as writers.


Monday, June 1—Sunday, June 7, 2015. The conference will take place at the Bread Loaf Campus of the Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont.

Anyone who’s been to Middlebury can back me up on this: that’s one of the most beautiful places in the country. It’s worth the price of admission to spend a week in that gorgeous atmosphere, where cell phones don’t get service, where the air smells like nature, and where there will be dozens of the best translators in the world.


The conference will incorporate the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model of small, focused, genre-based workshops coupled with lectures and classes focusing on the art of literary translation. Workshops will be limited to ten participants so that each manuscript will receive individual attention and careful critique. All participants will also meet individually with their workshop leader to amplify and refine what was said in the workshop itself.

This week-long conference of workshops, classes, lectures, readings, and discussions is for translators who want to improve their literary craft; for students mastering a foreign language and wanting to begin acquiring skills in the art of translation; for teachers interested in bringing the practice of literary translation into their classrooms; and for anyone wanting to learn more about and participate in the ever-growing community of literary translators.

Now, here’s the real selling point—the faculty.

Acclaimed and award-winning translators Susan Bernofsky, Maureen Freeley, Jennifer Grotz, Bill Johnston, and Don Share will constitute the faculty in this inaugural year of the conference. In addition to their literary accomplishments, each faculty member has been specifically chosen for his or her skill at guiding developing translators in a given genre.

Information about applying and the cost ($2,000) can be found on the Translation Loaf website. I’ll definitely be there talking to people about publishing their translations and working with editors, and hopefully I’ll see a lot of you there as well!

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