Arizona Translates!

Arizona Translates!

Arizona Translates! is a series of in-person public events held in fall 2022 alongside ALTA’s 45th annual program, "Value(s)." Arizona Translates! is ALTA’s second public event series aimed at bringing translation to Arizonan audiences since the organization moved to Tucson and became affiliated with the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona in January 2019.

The 2022 program includes: 

Chins Up! Shoulders Back!: A Staged Reading and Talkback

Friday, November 4, 7:30-9:30pm
Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, The Historic Y, 738 N 5th Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85705
Open to the public

ALTA has partnered with the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre in Tucson to present the winner of the 2022 Plays in Translation Contest, Chins Up! Shoulders Back! by Kazakh playwright Ainur Karim, translated by Ellen Vayner and Slava Faybysh from Russian. Directed by Tioni Collins.

Learn more and reserve your ticket on the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre’s website

This year’s competition winner, Chins Up! Shoulders Back!, has been selected from a diverse field of plays translated into English that speak to the theme “from spark to light”: emphasizing growth and change, in styles ranging from whimsical to dark, from inspiring to threatening.

The Kazakh play Chins Up! Shoulders Back! features a cross-generational Kazakh history that is largely unknown in the West. Based on real-life events, the play features three educated women who were forced to give up their previous careers in order to adapt to a collapsing society. Along with approximately one million other Kazakhs (80% of whom were women), they turn to ferrying goods over the border to keep their families and the country afloat.

COVID Guidelines: We require our audience, staff and volunteers to wear masks while indoors. Masks are strongly recommended to be of medical grade surgical or N95 quality. All performers, volunteers, and staff are vaccinated. Staff and volunteers will all wear masks. Performers will not be wearing masks during the show. Please see the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre’s COVID Guidelines For Audiences for more information. 

Access Information: The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre has seating designated for patrons utilizing wheelchairs. Please call ahead at (520) 448-3300 to ensure reservation. Accessible parking and ramp access is available from our parking lot (accessed from 5th Avenue). A drop-off area is available at the front door of The Historic Y on 5th Avenue. Restrooms are accessible. The S&S Theatre does not provide sound amplification due to the intimate size and excellent acoustics of our space. If concerned that hearing may be difficult, we are happy to seat patrons in the front row. Please call ahead at (520) 448-3300 to ensure reservation. 

This event is a collaboration between ALTA and the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre.

Read the World: A Kaleidoscope of Translated Literature

Saturday, NovembeR 5, 7:00-8:30pm
The Rubel Room at the University of Arizona Poetry Center
1508 East Helen Street, Tucson, Arizona 85719
livestream available
Free and open to the public

Register at

Listen in as the ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program cohorts present readings of literature translated into English from around the world! The program pairs emerging translators with an established translator to work together on a book-length literary translation over the course of nine months, providing the next generation of translators of world literature with support and community as they hone their craft. These 14 mentees translate collectively from 10 different languages in multiple genres, sharing a wealth of writers, languages, and stories with a broad readership. 

This event is offered in partnership with the Tucson Humanities Festival. We are also grateful to the UA Poetry Center for hosting this event!

COVID Guidelines: All Reading & Lecture Series events in the Rubel Room will be indoor/outdoor in nature, and properly worn masks are encouraged both inside the room and for events that use the breezeway.Social distancing is encouraged and will be informal. Read the Poetry Center's full COVID protocol on their website.

Access Information: The reading will take place in the Rubel Room and the Poetry Center breezeway, located on the ground floor. Accessible restrooms are located on the ground level next to the breezeway. A captioned recording of the reading will be made available on the Tucson Humanities Festival website a few days after the event. Request for disability-related accommodations should be made directly to the UA College of Humanities at

Tour of MOCA Tucson and Conversation with Artist/Translator Lynn Xu

Sunday, November 6, 11:00am-12:30pm
Museum of contemporary Art Tucson, 265 S Church Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
Free and open to friends of ALTA

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, poet Lynn Xu and curator Laura Copelin will not be in attendance at the exhibition's opening events. The tour of Xu's exhibit will be given by Assistant Curator Alexis Wilkinson.

On Sunday, November 6 from 11:00am-12:30pm, MOCA Tucson will present a tour and conversation with poet, translator, and artist Lynn Xu. The exhibit tour, led by MOCA Tucson Curator-at-Large Laura Copelin, will provide visitors with a chance to experience And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight, Xu’s debut exhibition based on her book-length poem of the same name, published by Wave Books in 2022. This monumental commission features large-scale banners, video, audio elements, and site-specific interventions giving Xu’s text physical, spatial, and sonic form. Following the tour, a conversation with Xu will focus on inter-media translation and self-translation. Guided tour and museum entry on Sunday is FREE for participants in ALTA’s Mentorship Program and friends of ALTA. Visitors are also encouraged to attend additional events related to the exhibit hosted by MOCA that week; more information can be found here.

COVID Guidelines: For the safety of our community MOCA Tucson has continued enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces. Masks are required in the gallery and at events. Capacity is limited to allow for appropriate social distancing. View our complete COVID-19 protocols here

Access Information: Designated accessible parking (with access to a ramp) is available on the south side of McCormick St in front of MOCA. Additional parking is available in the police station lot adjacent to MOCA to the east. MOCA has an accessible restroom in the lobby and all exhibition spaces are on one level and ADA compliant. The exhibition on view may utilize both low and bright lighting for visual effect. MOCA is committed to providing access to the arts for everyone; questions or additional accommodations can be made by calling MOCA’s front desk at (520) 624-5019.

Participating Bookstore

Friday, November 4 - Sunday, November 6

Antigone Books (411 N 4th Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85705)

Stop by Antigone Books anytime between November 4-6 to check out their special displays of literature in translation!

Access Information: We do not have any bathrooms available for customers at this time. Our store is one floor. We have a parking lot for our customers.


We welcome everyone to our series and are committed to making our programming and events accessible, and to making arrangements that allow all attendees to participate. Please view our Accessibility web page for more information. With questions about access, or to request any disability-related accommodations that will facilitate your full participation in ALTA's programming, such as ASL interpreting, CART captioning, or captioned videos, please contact Program Manager Kelsi Vanada (520-621-1757). Requests for CART captioners and/or ASL interpretation must be made at least two weeks in advance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch by emailing

Visiting Tucson

Read more about Tucson, including a list of recommended restaurants, on our ALTA44 web page. If you are traveling to Tucson, you may find the transportation information on our ALTA44 Hotel & Travel page useful. Please note that there is no ALTA45 hotel block.