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"Interwoven Worlds" Middle Eastern Conference on Writing and Translation: Award-Winning Lebanese Author Elias Khoury to Speak at Queens College Conference March 28 on Literature of Middle East


-- Will Include Panel Discussions by Authors and Translators of Work from Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Israel --

FLUSHING, NY, March 20, 2012 – Part of the Queens College's Year of Turkey, the free symposium "Interwoven Worlds" at QC on March 28 will focus on the rich literature of the Middle East. The Queens College MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, Archipelago Books, and the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (CUNY Graduate Center) are hosting this event, which will present writers and translators recently published by Archipelago Books, as well as those working with literature from Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Palestine and Israel.


Beirut-born author and cultural activist Elias Khoury will present the keynote address, "A Writer's Journey" at 6:30 pm., followed by a reception and book signing. A novelist, essayist, playwright and critic, Khoury has received international accolades for his work, including the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun.

In addition to readings by MFA students and a workshop on editing translations, the conference will feature a panel discussion, "The Politics of Translation – On Navigating Cultural (Mis)understandings" and one on "The Writer as Translator – Multilingual Writer/Translators on Cross-Pollinations in Their Work."

Program – All panels before 6:30 p.m. take place in Rosenthal Library, 5th floor, President's Conference Room #2.

11:00 am

Readings by MFA Students, introduced by QC English Professor Nicole Cooley, director of the college's MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation.

12:00 pm Lunch
1:15 pm Workshop: "Editing Translations"
Introduced by Susan Bernofsky, award-winning translator and visiting professor in the Queens College MFA program. Bernofsky is chair of the PEN translation committee, has translated 18 books, and blogs about translation at
www.translationista.org
Jill Schoolman, founder of Archipelago Books
Edwin Frank, editor of New York Review Books Classics series
2:45 pm Break
3:15 pm Panel: "The Politics of Translation – On Navigating Cultural

(Mis)understandings"
Aron Aji, (Turkish), is an award-winning translator of Turkish authors' works, including the forthcoming Bilge Karasu's A Long Day's Evening. His translation of Karasu's The Garden of Departed Cats received the 2004 National Translation Award. He is dean of arts and sciences at St. Ambrose University- Davenport, Iowa, and teaches as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa's MFA in Translation program.

Sara Khalili (Persian) is an editor and translator of contemporary Iranian fiction and poetry. Her translations include Shahriar Mandanipour's Censoring an Iranian Love Story and Shahrnush Parsipur's Prison Memoir. Her short story translations have appeared in The Literary Review, The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Words without Borders, and PEN America.
Barbara Harshav (Hebrew) began her professional life as an historian, and fell into translating about 30 years ago. She has published more than 50 books of translations from Hebrew, French, German, and Yiddish. She teaches a seminar-workshop in translation in the department of Comparative Literature at Yale University and a seminar-workshop in Yiddish translation at the YIVO-Bard College Institute.
Moderated by Roger Sedarat, who teaches poetry and translation in the QC MFA program. He is the author of two poetry collections, Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, which won Ohio UP's 2007 Hollis Summers' Open Book Competition, and Ghazal Games (Ohio UP, 2011). His translations of modern and classical Persian poetry have recently appeared in World Literature Today, Drunken Boat, Asymptote, and the novel Words in the Dust.
5:00 pm Panel: "The Writer as Translator – Multilingual Writer/Translators on Cross-Pollinations in Their Work"
Sinan Antoon (Arabic) has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and two novels: I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (City Lights, 2006) translated into Norwegian, German, Portuguese, and Italian. His second novel, The Pomegranate Alone, was published in 2010 in Beirut. His translations include Mahmoud Darwish's last prose book In the Presence of Absence and a selection of Saadi Youssef's late poetry. He is assistant professor at New York University and co-founder and co-editor of the cultural page of Jadaliyya.
Murat Nemet-Nejat (Turkish) has translated the work of a number of modern and contemporary Turkish poets. His book of translations of the poet Orhan Veli, called I, Orhan Veli, was published by Hanging Loose Press. Sun and Moon Press has just published his translation of Ece Ayhan's books, A Blind, Black Cat, and Orthodoxies. Issue #14 of Talisman magazine featured his versions of the work of a number of modern Turkish poets.
Ammiel Alcalay (Hebrew) has translated widely from Bosnian and Hebrew and is the initiator and general editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. His books include Islanders, neither wit nor gold: from then, Scrapmetal, Memories of Our Futures, After Jews and Arabs and the cairo noteboooks. A Little History and a second edition of from the warring factions will be published later this year.
Moderated by Susan Bernofsky.
6:30 pm Keynote presentation by Elias Khoury (Arabic/Lebanon): "A Writer's Journey." Reception immediately follows.
Location: Rosenthal Library, 230 (2nd Floor Auditorium)
Khoury, born in Beirut in 1948, plays a major role in contemporary Arabic culture and in the defense of freedom of expression and human rights. He was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun, which also received accolades from the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and leading media. His forthcoming As Though She Were Sleeping has received France's inaugural Arabic Novel Prize.

Founded in 2004 and based in Brooklyn, Archipelago Books, www.archipelagobooks.org, is currently one of the foremost publishers of literature in translation. Archipelago books have received prizes including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Academy of American Poets Translation Award, and the French-American Foundation/Florence Gould Translation Prize, and have been selected as an NPR Pick for Best Foreign Fiction of the Year. Archipelago's list of authors includes prominent writers translated from Turkish, Polish, Bengali, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Norwegian, Afrikaans, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Basque, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Greek, Icelandic and Arabic.

The MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College is one of only two such programs in the country to offer a track in literary translation. Students specializing in all branches of creative writing are encouraged to study translation, creating a real community of writers who relish diversity and global connections.


 
 

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