2 June 11 | Chad W. Post

Very excited to share the news that Andrew Barrett — a former Open Letter intern and U of R Translation Student who has written for Three Percent on a few occasions — was the only U.S. student to be chosen to attend the Banff International Literary Translation Centre’s annual summer program. I could go on and on about how cool this is, how awesome Andrew is, how our MALTS program obviously kicks national and international ass, but instead I’ll let the U of R’s official press release do some of that for me.

From the U of R Communications Office:

Andrew Barrett, a graduate student in the University of Rochester’s Master of Arts in Literary Translation program, is the only student from the United States selected to attend the Banff International Literary Translation Centre’s annual summer translation program.

The Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) is the only international residency program for literary translators in North America. The primary focus of the program is to provide literary translators with a period of uninterrupted work on a current project, within an international community of translators. Each year, BILTC accepts one student from each of its signatory countries—Canada, Mexico, and the United States—as well as 15 translators, up to nine writers, and at least three consulting translators. Since the inaugural program in 2003, Banff only accepts 10 translators each summer, which includes three students. BILTC has hosted translators from more than 21 countries working in more than 30 language combinations.

“We had many high-level student applications this year, and his application, especially the sample of the translation he is working on, was truly extraordinary,” said Katherine Silver, co-director of BILTC. During the program, Barrett, who translates from ancient Greek, will complete his translation of portions of the Dionysiaca, a 48-book epic poem written in the 5th century by Nonnus. “The first time I picked up the Dionysiaca, the virtues of the poem jumped out at me. It’s vivid, wild, playfully self-aware and an absolute treasure-trove of Greek mythology,” said Barrett.

Professor, translator, and renowned poet Anne Carson, whose work frequently draws from Greek mythology, will be this summer’s special guest writer, and prize-winning translator Peter Constantine, who also works with ancient Greek, will be a consulting translator in residence.

Barrett began Rochester’s Master of Arts in Literary Translation program, or MALTS, after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classics from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Mich., where he also taught Greek mythology. A member of the first MALTS class, Barrett said he was attracted to the translation program’s treatment of translation “as a fine literary art.” As part of the program, Barrett has interned at Open Letter Books, Rochester’s literary publishing house, which publishes a dozen international authors’ works each year. “Working at Open Letter is a direct line into the publishing world,” said Barrett, who added, “The act of translation and the light it sheds on the tangled intersections of culture, language, and thought, can provide very potent opportunities to genuinely appreciate the complexity of different societies, even those societies that no longer exist.”

“This is a very impressive achievement for Andrew and we are proud to have a student from our program’s inaugural class chosen for this international honor,” said Chad Post, co-advisor for MALTS and director of Open Letter Books.

The MALTS program includes classes in literary translation, literary theory, and international literatures, as well as a book-length translation project. Students in both MALTS and the University’s undergraduate and graduate-level certificate programs have the opportunity to work with Open Letter Books, Rochester’s publishing house for literature in translation, and Three Percent, an online resource for international literature. For more information about translation at Rochester, click here..


Comments are disabled for this article.
....
Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in _Morse, My Deaf Friend_— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .

Read More >

The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .

Read More >

Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

Read More >

The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

Read More >

Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

Read More >

The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

Read More >

Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories
Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .

Read More >

Tristana
Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

The prolific Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós wrote his short novel, Tristana, during the closing years of the nineteenth century, a time when very few options were available to women of limited financial means who did not want a husband.. . .

Read More >

The History of Silence
The History of Silence by Pedro Zarraluki
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .

Read More >

Flesh-Coloured Dominoes
Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity. . .

Read More >