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Nominations for ALTA’s 2014 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) invites nominations of translations for ALTA’s 2014 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. The winner will receive $5,000, and the award-winning book and translator will be featured at ALTA’s 37th conference, to be held November 12-15, 2014 in Milwaukee, WI. To be eligible, a submission must have been published in 2013 in the U.S. or Canada and be a book-length translation into English of Asian poetry or of source texts from (but not commentaries on) Zen Buddhism. Languages eligible are Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, and Vietnamese. The deadline for receiving submissions is August 1. Send a copy of each nominated book to:

ALTA/Lucien Stryk Translation Prize
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road, JO 51
Richardson, TX  75080-3021

Submissions will be judged according to the literary significance of the original and the success of the translation in recreating the literary artistry of the original.

While the Lucien Stryk Translation Prize is primarily intended to recognize the translation of contemporary works, retranslations or first-time translations of important older works will also be seriously considered. The Lucien Stryk Translation Prize, which has been established by an anonymous donor, celebrates the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. Stryk was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University.

The 2012 Stryk Prize winner was Don Mee Choi forAll the Garbage of the World, Unite! by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books, 2011), and the 2013 Stryk Prize winner was Lucas Klein forNotes on the Mosquito by Xi Chuan (New Directions, 2012).

For more information, please visit www.literarytranslators.org, or contact María Rosa Suárez <maria.suarez@utdallas.edu>. 

新しい映画『ゴジラ』 の感想
2014年、ギャレス・エドワーズ監督

I went to the opening of the new Godzilla in IMAX 3-D last night. (The theater was packed with middle-aged, comic-book and sci-fi loving guys, many of whom had worn out their favorite Godzilla T-shirt.)

Of course, the visuals were astounding, but the writers had worked into the plot unmistakable echoes of 3/11 and 9/11, the two recent national traumas of Japan and America that have come to define our experience in so many ways the twenty first-century. In the parallel universe of the film, however, all responsibility for the tragedies lay with forces other than humanity. The final message seemed to be, “Work hard and do your best to prevent mishaps, but nature will naturally take its own course, and humanity should just let that happen. Things will cosmically work out somehow.” That message makes no sense in our current world, where humanity is responsible for virtually every large disaster. We have to be better than that.  

小林史子 『1000の足とはじまりの果実』
KOBAYASHI Fumiko: 1,000 Legs, Cultivating Fruits

Exhibited at the Roppongi Crossing 2013 exhibit at the Mori Art Museum
森美術館・六本木クロッシング2013展

Made of chairs and clothing collected from people around the artist in the Roppongi Hills area in 2013

600 × 600 × 190 cm

Amanda Vail at Rain Taxi, one of the journals that I often turn to for literary reviews, wrote a glowing review of my translation of the gay Japanese poet TAKAHASHI Mutsuo’s memoirs, Twelve Views from the Distance.  In it, she writes,

Takahashi’s memoir presents not only the difficulties faced by citizens living through a war, but also the challenges of growing up in poverty, of being raised by a single mother who is forced to make ends meet in creative ways, and of exploring an alternative sexuality, among others. The novel presents twelve reflections on the time and place it depicts; some of the details are very specific, and many are universal. Throughout, Twelve Views from the Distance is unflinching, compassionate, and beautiful.

Click here to see the Amazon page for Twelve Views.
Thank you, Amanda, for the wonderful review.

Julio Cortázar “Los Dioses,” “The Gods,” translated by Stephen Kessler

伊藤比呂美xジェフリー・アングルスの朗読会スタンフォード大学(米国カリフォルニア州)2014年5月2日(金)
During this reading at Stanford University on May 2, 2014, Itō Hiromi will appear with me as her translator. We plan to read from her work about the 2011 disasters in Japan, as well as from the translation of her long, narrative poem Wild Grass on the Riverbank, which will be forthcoming from Action Books in fall 2014.  This award-winning, book-length narrative poem, called by critics &#8220;unprecedented&#8221; in the history of modern Japanese literature, deals with transpacific migration, linguistic isolation, and the question of what it means to belong to a place.

伊藤比呂美xジェフリー・アングルスの朗読会
スタンフォード大学(米国カリフォルニア州)
2014年5月2日(金)

During this reading at Stanford University on May 2, 2014, Itō Hiromi will appear with me as her translator. We plan to read from her work about the 2011 disasters in Japan, as well as from the translation of her long, narrative poem Wild Grass on the Riverbank, which will be forthcoming from Action Books in fall 2014.  This award-winning, book-length narrative poem, called by critics “unprecedented” in the history of modern Japanese literature, deals with transpacific migration, linguistic isolation, and the question of what it means to belong to a place.

Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize

Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize in Japanese Literature, Thought, and Society

The Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University is pleased to announce a prize honoring the life and work of Kyoko Selden. The prize will pay homage to the finest achievements in Japanese literature, thought, and society through the medium of translation. Kyoko Selden’s translations and writings ranged widely across such realms as Japanese women writers, the atomic bomb experience, Ainu life and culture, historical and contemporary literature, poetry and prose, Japanese art, and early education (the Suzuki method). In the same spirit, the prize will recognize the breadth of Japanese writings, classical and contemporary. Collaborative translations are welcomed. In order to encourage classroom use and wide dissemination of the winning entries, prize-winning translations, together with the original Japanese text, will be made freely available on the web. The winning translations will be published online at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus <http://www.japanfocus.org/>. 

Submit three copies of a translation and the original text of an unpublished work or a new translation of a previously published work to the Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize, Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. E-mail submissions should be sent to seldenprize@cornell.edu.  Please provide both paper and electronic versions of the translation and the original text. The maximum length of a submission is 20,000 words. The translation should be accompanied by an introduction of up to 1,000 words. In case of translation of longer works, a 20,000-word excerpt should be submitted.

The closing date for the first prize competition is May 30, 2014. Awards will be announced on August 31, 2014. A prize of $2,500 will be given to the author(s) of the award-winning translation. For further information, please visit <http://lrc.cornell.edu/asian/seldenmemorial>.

Roscoe Gilmore Scott, When Boys Ask Questions

Roscoe Gilmore Scott, When Boys Ask Questions

Ania Wawrzkowicz - Ambiguous Documents

「いまここにこれらのことをーー3・11と日本現代詩」 カリフォルニア州立大学ロング・ビーチ校での講演 ジェフリー・アングルス Next week, I&#8217;ll be giving a handful of talks and poetry readings in California. Here is a flyer for an talk that I will be giving at California State University, Long Beach.  Thanks go to Jordan Smith, an assistant professor of comparative literature there at CSULB, for arranging this visit.

「いまここにこれらのことをーー3・11と日本現代詩」 
カリフォルニア州立大学ロング・ビーチ校での講演 
ジェフリー・アングルス 

Next week, I’ll be giving a handful of talks and poetry readings in California. Here is a flyer for an talk that I will be giving at California State University, Long Beach.  Thanks go to Jordan Smith, an assistant professor of comparative literature there at CSULB, for arranging this visit.

Call for Submissions: Seeking re-translations of poetry and prose
Inventory No. 5 
The Re-Translation Issue

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, the Editors of Inventory are assembling a special issue devoted exclusively to original re-translations. That is, they are seeking fresh and thoughtful translations of literary texts that have already been translated into English. Compelling reasons for re-translation might include a problematic first translation or an exceptionally rich text affording a multiplicity of possible translations. Re-translations from less-taught and non-European languages are especially encouraged, as are re-translations of works little known in the Anglophone world. 

Based in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature, Inventory is a journal of literary translation supported by the Interdoctoral Program for the Humanities, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Program for Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton.  Submit to invent@princeton.edu by June 1, 2014 to be considered.

Difficulties of translating children&#8217;s literature
In this funny and well-written special feature in the Guardian, translator Sarah Ardizzone talks about translating Marjolaine Leray&#8217;s April the Red Goldfish into French: Avril le poisson rouge.  Handling a transgender, suicidal fish in another language is not always easy!  

Difficulties of translating children’s literature

In this funny and well-written special feature in the Guardiantranslator Sarah Ardizzone talks about translating Marjolaine Leray’s April the Red Goldfish into French: Avril le poisson rouge.  Handling a transgender, suicidal fish in another language is not always easy!  

On April 18-20, 2014, University of Michigan is going to be holding a three-day conference on one of Japan&#8217;s greatest modern authors NATSUME Sōseki 夏目漱石.  Highlights include a visit by John NATHAN, who did the new translation of Sōseki&#8217;s Light and Dark 『明暗』, and TAWADA Yōko 多和田葉子, one of Japan&#8217;s most important living novelists. To register, click here.

On April 18-20, 2014, University of Michigan is going to be holding a three-day conference on one of Japan’s greatest modern authors NATSUME Sōseki 夏目漱石.  Highlights include a visit by John NATHAN, who did the new translation of Sōseki’s Light and Dark 『明暗』, and TAWADA Yōko 多和田葉子, one of Japan’s most important living novelists. To register, click here.

Dalkey Archive Press summer residency for translators in Dublin, Ireland

The Dalkey Archive Press and the University of Illinois are offering a summer session of its Certificate in Applied Literary Translation from 9 June to 5 September in Dublin, Ireland.  Dalkey encourages applications from translators working from languages whose literatures are especially underrepresented in the English-speaking world. 

The program is an intensive training experience that will result in a full-length translation and publication by the Dalkey Archive Press.  The program is aimed at translators just starting their careers, and they have already had a successful track record with students in the program. Recent publications from participants include:

  • Brendan Riley, Spanish (Final project: Hypothermia, by Álvaro Enrigue [Mexico], published 2013)
  • Eric Lamb, French (Final project: My Beautiful Bus, by Jacques Jouet [France], published 2013]
  • Lauren Messina, French (Final project: Origin Unknown, by Oliver Rohe [France], published 2013) 
  • Darren Koolman, Spanish (Final project: The No Variations, by Luis Chitarroni [Argentina], published 2013)
  • Rhett McNeil, Portuguese (Final project: The Splendor of Portugal by Antonio Lobo Antunes [Portugal], published 2011)

More information can be found here and here

Poems about the March 11, 2011 Disasters in Japan、3・11を取り上げる日本現代詩の英訳集

Today is the third anniversary of the devastating March 11, 2011 earthquake that shook northeastern Japan, caused a devastating tsunami, and provoked the Fukushima meltdown.  As a result of this unprecedented set of disasters, 15,884 people died in Japan, 2,633 were lost and presumed dead, and another 6,148 sustained injuries. Countless more were uprooted from their homes and sent to temporary housing, where some people still reside. The economy and national infrastructure took a severe blow, as did the confidence of the Japanese people in their government.  Since these disasters, Japan has had to reconsider many of things that it had taken for granted—its usage of energy, its relationship to the natural environment, its relationship with its legislators, and its modes of organizing at the grass-roots level.  

Almost immediately, writers took action.  Many figures known for their involvement in social issues, writers such as Ōe Kenzaburō, Tsushima Yūko, and Ishimure Michiko, began respond and publish statements to the press, helping to use their influence to help shape reconstruction efforts and talk about new directions for the Japanese nation.  

Perhaps the segment of the Japanese literary world where the seismic forces of 3/11 were felt most strongly, however, was the poetic world.  Many Japanese newspapers include regular columns that include free verse (shi), tanka, or haiku poems, but in just the few days after 3/11, poetry began to emerge from those small columns and take a more prominent place in the news, eventually finding its way into a central position in the discourse that had started unfolding across the nation. Poetry exploded into the mainstream, serving as one of the ways that the nation thought about and processed its own complicated feelings about the disasters.  

I was in Japan at the time and experienced the quakes, numerous aftershocks, and terrifying anxiety.  After a few weeks of uncertainty and great worry, everything I had come to Japan to do was cancelled, and so I cut my stay short and returned to the United States ahead of schedule.   As one way of working through the experience and my complicated feelings about returning to terra firma, I began translating poems about the quake and the resulting disasters.  Some of those translations have been published in various online journals, but I have added to the collection over time to produce a book manuscript, which is now under review. 

Here is a collection of links to some of those translations.  Some appear with the original Japanese.  Many of the poems first appeared in the May 2011 special issue of Handbook of Contemporary Poetry 『現代詩手帖』dedicated to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.  Some were also published in a special section in the daily newspaper Asahi shinbun published in commemoration of the first anniversary of the quake.  Others were published in various magazines or newspapers, but still, these poems are only the tiniest tip of the iceberg.  There are thousands upon thousands more poems out there.

TAKAHASHI Mutsuo: “These Things Here and Now”
高橋睦郎「いまここにこれらのことを」
Click here for a video of Takahashi reading excerpts from the poem.

WAGŌ Ryōichi: Pebbles of Poetry (Part I)
和合亮一『詩の礫』抄

YOSHIMASU Gōzō: “at the side (côtés) of poetry”
吉増剛造「詩のcôtésに」

ITŌ Hiromi: “Cooking, Writing Poetry”
伊藤比呂美「料理する、詩を書く」

ARAI Takako: "Half a Pair of Shoes" and "Galapagos"
新井高子「片方の靴」と「ガラパゴス」

HIRATA Toshiko: “Do Not Tremble” and "Please"
平田俊子「ゆれるな」と「どうか」

TANAKA Yōsuke: “Screaming Potato Field”
田中庸介「叫ぶ芋畑」

OHSAKI Sayaka: “Noisy Animal”
大崎紗香「うるさい動物」

Jeffrey ANGLES: “Return After Earthquake”
ジェフリー・アングルス「地震後の帰国」