This panel refers to a widely read 2016 commentary by John Keene, who challenged the literary world to support more translations of works by African and African diasporic writers. Our panel features translators who recently brought out works from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We’ll discuss insights on language, culture, and power from these books. As a group, we ask what becomes audible through translation’s close listening, and how a translator’s identity and strategies matter.
John Keene is the author of Annotations; Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse; and Counternarratives; and is the translator of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark.
Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over 100 books in many different genres. He is also the publisher of poetry press A Midsummer Night’s Press. He lives in Madrid, where he is a Spanish->English translator.
Kristin Dykstra’s recent translations include work by Amanda Berenguer, Alvaro Mutis, Omar Perez, Rito Aroche, and Tina Escaja, as well as a series of four contemporary Cuban editions (with her critical introductions) by Reina María Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Flores, Angel Escobar, and Marcelo Morales.
Tiffany Higgins is author of The Apparition at Fort Bragg, an e-chapbook, winner of Iron Horse Literary Review’s contest, selected by Camille Dungy; And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet; and Tail of the Whale, translations of Alice Sant’Anna’s Portuguese. She reports on Brazil’s Amazon.
Aaron Coleman is the author of Threat Come Close and St. Trigger, a chapbook that won the 2015 Button Poetry Prize. A Fulbright Scholar, Cave Canem fellow, and ALTA’s 2017 Jansen Memorial Fellow, Aaron is currently a PhD student in comparative literature at Washington University in St. Louis.