THE BLOG @ TIR
August 10, 2012
A month ago this week, I arrived in Lagrasse, winter population 650, for a weeklong translation residency with the École de littérature. I was one of eighteen applicants chosen (six translating into English, six into Arabic, and six into French) and was thrown into the mix with fifteen or so guests, already well-established writers, translators, and editors. I had very little idea of what to expect. I knew that La Maison du Banquet et des générations, housed in a ninth-century abbey, was hosting us. I knew the work of some of the Anglophone workshop animators: Robyn Creswell, Sarah Riggs, Eleni Sikelianos, Laird Hunt. I also knew there would be workshops and readings scheduled every day from nine until at least seven-thirty at night. That these workshops would range from translations of the Arabian Nights to Toni Morrison to the Moroccan Mohamed Leftah to 1950s French writer Hélène Bessette. One workshop on sound translation, I’d read, requested that we wear loose clothing and be prepared to move.
What I didn’t know, as clichéd as it sounds, was that working in the confines of this abbey at Lagrasse would be... magical. That in the short space of a week, I, the introvert, would create lasting friendships and collaborations. That living in a different language would, as it always does, give me a chance to be someone new and that this someone new was not the timid creature of my junior year abroad but was inspired and a poet and a translator of poetry and a (slow) translator of Arabic as well as French.
Early in the program, Domique Bondu, the director of the Maison du Banquet, talked to us about his organization, pulling apart the title to explain its mission. First, “maison”—house. The Lagrasse abbey provides, as the French say, a chez soi, a home, for artists of all disciplines; in a world that’s increasingly unsympathetic towards the arts, it is a safe place. A haven. Then, “banquet.” I don’t remember if Dominique explained it this way exactly, but it’s the Platonic idea of the symposium, of gatherings around a table, around a text, around a theme (and often around a good bottle of Corbières) to discuss ideas, exchange knowledge, and grow together rather than separately. It’s the idea of community, which I have found in my life as a writer and translator, to be vital. Finally, “générations.” As my presence in Lagrasse attests, the Maison does not focus only on established writers. It provides a place for young, inexperienced artists to be inspired, to make connections, to hone their craft.
Which is precisely what it did for me. I came back with a reading list filling half a moleskine and a head swimming with new ideas. In the month since the residency, I have translated a Moroccan poem from the 1960s journal Souffles. I have corresponded with Sarah Riggs and Omar Berrada about their collaborative translations of poems from the Nights. I have begun reading and sharing my love of Leftah. Best of all, though, I now have a trilingual, tri-continental network of translators with whom I can continue to grow via e-mail. I am grateful to Dominique; to David Ruffel, who edits the Chaoïd series at the publishing house Verdier and organized Translations; and to all of my colleagues in Lagrasse, who made the week unforgettable.
Addie Leak is an MFA student in literary translation at the University of Iowa. This summer she is working with TIR editor-in-chief Russell Valentino to expand our online Forum on Literature and Translation.
July 18, 2012
Editors Carolyne Wright and Eugenia Toledo invite women poets of all nationalities, backgrounds, and job descriptions to submit up to 5 poems for an anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace.
Send hard copies to Carolyne Wright, 13741 15th Avenue NE, #C-7, Seattle, WA 98125. E-mail email@example.com or visit www.losthorsepress.org for full guidelines.
This anthology invites poems of women who have occupied spaces in the work force, and have contended with pay and promotion inequity, workplace harassment and intimidation, and all matters relevant to women in an increasingly globalized workplace, including the joy and satisfaction of work well done. Such issues may include instances of women's employment advantages over males and other non-minorities—any preferential treatment of women in hiring and promotion, for example. How can women tell their workplace stories in poetry and be agents of change, locally and globally, in these difficult economic times? Poems in English and in translation from any other language are welcome.
1. Poems may be unpublished or previously published in magazines, anthologies, or books, but contributors must have the rights and waive fees for republication. (We will apply for grant money to pay honoraria/reprint fees, but have no guarantee of funds at this time.)
2. Submissions up to 5 poems. Please mail in hard copy, with your contact data in a cover letter and your name on each page of poetry. No need to include a SASE—we will e-mail our responses, requesting accepted poems along with bio and statement to be sent electronically.
EXCEPTION to Hard Copy Submission Requirement: if you are submitting from a country other than the U.S. or Canada, it is fine to send via e-mail. We want to avoid overseas postal expenses and the risk of lost or delayed submissions.
3. Poems may be originally written in a language than English, but originals should be sent with their translations.
4. Provide a 75-word bio in the cover letter, followed by a brief statement of your involvement in work on behalf of women.
5. Submission deadline EXTENDED: December 31, 2012.
6. Submit work to:
13741 15th Avenue NE, # C - 7
Seattle, WA 98125 USA
LLAMADA A PARTICIPAR EN ANTOLOGIA DE POESIA SOBRE LAS MUJERES Y EL TRABAJO:
Editoras Carolyne Wright y Eugenia Toledo invitan a las mujeres poetas de todas nacionalidades, antecedentes y tipos de trabajos a participar hasta con 5 poemas en la Antología Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. Envíe en soporte papel a Carolyne Wright, 13741 15th Avenue NE, #C-7, SEATTLE, WA 98125 USA. Correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org o visite www.losthorsepress.org para las pautas completas de envío.
Esta Antología invita a participar con sus poemas a mujeres que han estado en el campo laboral, y han tenido que contentarse con sueldos bajos y desigualdad ante promociones laborales, discriminación e intimidación, y todas las temáticas femeninas que son relevantes a este mundo laboral global en aumento, incluyendo las alegrías y las satisfacciones de un trabajo bien hecho. Estos temas pueden incluir instancias en que mujeres estén en ventaja laboral sobre los hombres y otros grupos no minoritarios – como cualquier trato preferencial a la mujer en el proceso de contratación y promoción por ejemplo. ¿Cómo pueden las mujeres articular sus historias a través de la poesía, ser agentes de cambio, local y globalmente, en estos difíciles tiempos económicos? Se aceptan poemas en Inglés y traducciones de cualquier otra lengua.
1. Los poemas pueden ser inéditos o ya publicados en revistas, antologías o libros, pero los participantes deben tener los derechos y renunciar a los recargos legales para republicación. (Vamos a aplicar a algunos “grants” para usar como honorario / gastos de republicación; pero en este momento no tenemos respaldo económico).
2. Someter hasta un máximo de 5 poemas. Envíelos por correo en soporte papel, con sus datos de contacto en una carta de presentación y con su nombre en cada una de las páginas de sus poemas. No hay necesidad de incluir un SASE (sobre con sus datos) – le mandaremos por correo electrónico nuestras respuestas, solicitando los poemas aceptados con su biografía y permiso para que nos sean enviados electrónicamente.
Una excepción al soporte papel: si Ud. manda poesía desde otros países que no sean Estados Unidos o Canadá - puede mandarla por vía electrónica (email). Queremos evitar gastos de correo, pérdida o atraso de material.)
3. Los poemas pueden haber sido escritos originalmente en otra lengua diferente al Inglés, pero los originales deben ser enviados con sus traducciones.
4. Incluya una mini-biografía de 75 palabras en su carta de presentación, seguida por una corta declaración sobre su participación en favor de las mujeres en la fuerza laboral.
5. Fecha de envío EXTENDIDO al 31 de diciembre 2012.
6. Mandar a:
13741 15th Avenue NE, #C-7
Seattle, WA 98125 USA
July 3, 2012
In April, we announced that Jason Ockert's dark and fantastic short story "Max" (which appeared in TIR 41/1) had been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, an annual prize for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
While the SJA folks haven't yet chosen a winner, they chatted with Jason about his story and posted the interview here: http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/blog/2012/06/28/charles-tan-interviews-jason-ockert/ Must be a good sign, right?
PS, If you're wondering about the crows, read an excerpt from "Max."
June 29, 2012
Congrats to TIR contributor Mike White, whose new poetry collection, How to Make a Bird with Two Hands, has been awarded the 2011 Washington Prize at The Word Works. Judge Leslie McGrath calls the book "a fresh mix of post-modern edginess and Zen mystery."
Two of the poems from the collection, "Anne Frank, Postscript" (Winter 2004) and "At 18" (Spring 2009), were first published in The Iowa Review.
How to Make a Bird with Two Hands is White’s first published book. His work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, and The Iowa Review, and has also been featured online at Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. White teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Utah.
June 26, 2012
We were saddened to hear of the death of TIR cover artist Tom Wegman earlier this month at age 81. A prominent member of the local community, his passing occasioned a remembrance in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. I did not know until then that he had owned a store legendary in town called Things, Things, & Things. Nor did I know that he had become a paraplegic after a 1986 mororcycle accident. I did know that his three covers for TIR in 2003, featuring intricately beaded and insanely colorful roller skates, cowboy boots, and a bug sprayer, have become our most remarked-upon covers to date. We still give out postcards featuring these covers to patrons at book fairs, and they never fail to draw a laugh and an "I love this" from passersby. Evidently, others thought so too, as Wegman and his wife and collaborator, Kathy, exhibited at the Smithsonian. On their web site, where more of their work can be seen, they explain their philosophy of making the discarded—like the roller skates, which originated from the Salvation Army—shiny and new again.