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The Writer-Translator: Enhancing and Channeling Creativity Through Translation with Meg Matich (via Zoom)

June 8 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm


“Literary translation is a form of creative writing,” according to acclaimed translator Susan Bernofsky, “I like to describe it as a writing exercise with maximal constraints: Write a sentence; here’s what it needs to say, here’s what the style should be, and here’s what the tone is—and you still have so many artistic choices to make before the sentence is written.” As we cross the thresholds among languages to creatively (re)construct the original poem in a new language – to manifest the unconventional in English. Each time we come up against a syntax, grammar, prosody that’s different than our own, the boundaries of English twitch and twist and grow. This course is designed to introduce participants—whether poets, novelists, or literary translators—of all levels to explore ways in which the practice of literary translation can enrich their own writing and editorial process. We will use our time together as a laboratory to learn basic methods of producing literary innovation in English through a series of translation exercises. By inhabiting other selves in translation and making creative choices, we feel the loss and expansion of self. Our voices as poets internalize, echo, love, and resist the traits of others. It is a reciprocal arrangement: As poet-translators, we give and take shape, sharing abilities, power, and potential. The ultimate goal of this course is to help students to revise their own creative work through the lens of translation and to explore ways in which translation can enrich their own writing and editorial process.

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom (Saturday, June 8, 12:30-4:30 PM ET) and will be capped at 10 students. Registrants will receive the Zoom link to the email address they use to register. It will arrive immediately after registration so please check your spam folder if you do not receive it. It will also be sent the day before class as a reminder. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

All HVWC scholarship applications will be available on May 1 and will be due on May 15 for all summer/fall 2024 classes.

Meg Matich is a poet and translator of Icelandic, German, and Danish in Reykjavik, Iceland. She earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia University’s prestigious Poetry and Literary Translation program before going on to receive a Fulbright grant to Iceland. Her translations have received praise from The New York Times, Oprah, Publisher’s Weekly, Vulture, PEN America, and others, and her work has been longlisted for the Dublin Literary Prize. She is the translator of Thóra Hjörleifsdóttir‘s critically acclaimed novel Magma, Auður Jónsdóttir’s Quake, Magnús Sigurðsson’s Cold Moons, among other publications. She’s received support for her work from PEN America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Harvard University, and the Fulbright Commission, among others, and is a frequent collaborator with Reykjavik UNESCO and literary festivals in Iceland and abroad. Her most recent work, the selected short stories of mid-century modernist-feminist Ásta Sigurðardóttir, was published by Nordisk Books in November 2023. She is the author of one chapbook, Cold (Eulalia Books 2022).


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Writer-Translator (Meg Matich)
$ 150.00
10 available


June 8
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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