ALTA45 Past Events

ALTA45 Past Events

ALTA's past 2022 events will be made available as recordings on ALTA's Crowdcast channel to those who have purchased tickets (with the exception of workshops, which will not be recorded). Please be patient with our staff as we edit, caption, and upload recordings. You will receive a link to view the recording in Crowdcast in your Eventbrite confirmation email when you purchase a ticket to the event.

View the list of the ALTA45 Presenter Bios at this link.

ALTA45 Roundtable: Ethics in Translation: Does the End Justify the Means? (virtual)


Translation is a collaborative effort—there are bound to be disagreements. But who has the “right” to be the final judge? Is it the author, translator, publisher or editor? Or are issues resolved by compromise: no one is completely right, and no one completely wrong? How disagreements are resolved contain an ethical component. Common disputes include:

* authors who think their English is better than it is and want to "improve" your translation;

* translators who want the author to change the original text in order to "improve” it; 

* authors who want to retain their original punctuation though it doesn't read well in English.

Copies of examples will be distributed among the participants; discussion and debate will ensue.

Format: Organizers will share their thoughts about thorny ethical dilemmas in translation. Participants are invited to share examples from their own work, then move to break-out rooms for deeper discussion. All reconvene to share negotiating tactics.

Organizers: Barbara Goldberg, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Keyne Cheshire


ALTA45 Roundtable: Advocating for Translators: The 2022 PEN Translation Manifesto in Action

NOVEMBER 10, 2022, 10:00-11:15AM MOUNTAIN TIME

We propose a roundtable to serve as a forum to discuss translator advocacy, the ethics and values of the contemporary translation community, and how to engage translators, publishers, and editors in a dialogue about cultural and linguistic norms and their impacts on the translation publishing world. The newly completed 2022 PEN Translation Manifesto, which is now ready for use by members of the U.S. translation community ​and beyond, will serve as a jumping-off point from which to launch our discussion. An update of the 1969 PEN Translation Manifesto, the 2022 document renews and recalibrates calls for change in publishing, academia, and now the digital sphere and articulates what we want to see shift in the future, particularly in terms of gender and racial equity.

Format: We will circulate the 2022 Manifesto to participants in advance and ask them to come prepared to discuss how the calls to action can be implemented in various spheres of interest, from the perspective of their own professional work.

Organizers: Elizabeth Lowe, Bonnie Chau, Matthew C. Harrington


Declamación: November 2022 (virtual) [CANCELED]


Mark your calendars to join your fellow translators, declaimers, and enthusiasts on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 for our annual evening of Declamación…the second virtual installment! You must recite (or sing) from memory (no reading). Time allotment is 5 minutes. We will begin with those signed up in advance and then, time permitting, hold an open mic. 

This event was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you'll join us next year for a return to in-person declaiming at ALTA46 in Tucson, AZ!

Read the World: A Kaleidoscope of Translated Literature (in person and via live stream)

NOVEMBER 5, 2022: 7:00-8:30PM PACIFIC TIME

Join the 2022 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program cohort for a series of readings of literature translated into English from around the world! These twelve mentees translate collectively from nine different languages, and have spent the last nine months translating a book-length literary work alongside their mentor. They will be joined by a mentee from our 2021 cohort as well. Read more about the program here. We are grateful to the UA Poetry Center for hosting this event! 


Staged Reading of a Play in Translation (in person)


ALTA has partnered with the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre in Tucson to present the winner of the 2022 Plays in Translation Contest. Learn more and reserve your ticket on the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre’s website. 

ALTA45 Panel: Translating Ukrainian Literature: Values and Voices (virtual)

October 27, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

This panel features translators of Ukrainian literature who will reflect on their projects, focusing on the importance of giving an international voice to Ukrainian authors and promoting the value of translations from Ukrainian, especially in the light of Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine. The theme of value will be addressed from different perspectives: how the translator’s values guide the selection of texts and how certain works are prioritized over others; how the war influences our understanding of human values and how they are highlighted via translation; how translation helps bring to the fore the values of disenfranchised communities (such as LGBTQ); how aesthetic and cultural values define the translator’s choices; and how translators derive personal value from their work.

Moderator: Olena Jennings

Panelists: Vitaly Chernetsky, Nina Murray, Roman Ivashkiv


ALTA45 Roundtable: Bringing Language to Life: Translation in the Undergraduate Classroom (virtual)

October 27, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

Undergraduates across the US encounter translation in a variety of contexts, including the foreign language classroom, literary surveys, and upper-division seminars. This roundtable is devoted to discussing these and other contexts in which translation activities play a central role in undergraduate courses. Participants will share examples of activities from their courses and discuss how these assignments connected with class content and learning objectives.

Format: Roundtable participants are asked to come prepared with example of course activity to share with attendees.

Organizer: Colleen Lucey

Participants: Patrick Ploschnitzki, Sibelan Forrester, Heather Green


BIPOC Literary Translators Caucus Meeting (virtual)

October 26, 2022: 9-11am and 6-8pm Pacific Time

The BIPOC Literary Translators Caucus will hold a meeting hosted by ALTA from 9-11am AND 6-8pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. Use the form linked above to sign up for either meeting (the link is the same regardless of which meeting time you attend).

The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Literary Translators Caucus is a space for literary translators who identify as Black, indigenous, and/or person of color. We share knowledge, discuss issues, organize regular feedback circles, and more. The BIPOC Literary Translators Caucus was formed at ALTA43, the 2020 virtual iteration of the annual fall conference hosted by ALTA. Though we are based in the US, we welcome people joining from around the world, and membership is not limited to ALTA members. Meetings are open to all caucus members, and you should feel free to come to any even if you don’t know any other members—we’d love to meet you! To join the caucus, please click here.

ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: October 2022 (virtual)

October 25, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms. The October theme is "Translation and Politics." 


ALTA45 Roundtable: Overthrowing the Idea of the Mother Tongue (virtual)

October 13, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

Why does the idea of “mother tongue” persist? Why mother, why a parent or person? As translators and writers with relationships to multiple languages and cultures, how can we imagine or explore alternatives to the term “mother tongue”? Why do we emphasize language as something that comes from a person and not locations, time, or experiences?

We’ll discuss ways to reshape the way we talk about languages in the world of translation and beyond. Participants are invited to question the value of defining a “native” or a “first” language while also considering other ways to describe how we find and locate ourselves within and across languages.

Format: We’ll ask each participant to 1) prepare a question to share, and 2) contribute an alternative to “mother tongue” as well as relevant texts or ideas that have informed their approach, thinking, and feeling toward the topic. Quotations are welcome.

Organizers: Jenna Tang, Stine An


ALTA45 Panel: Six Characters in Search of a Funder (virtual)

october 13, 2022, 1:00-2:15pm Pacific time

2022 saw the first South Asian language novel win the International Booker: Tomb of Sand, Daisy Rockwell’s translation of Geetanjali Shree’s Hindi novel. Of the top 15 world languages, five are South Asian. Yet South Asian literature in translation barely exists in US publishing. Of the 7573 translations published over the past decade, only 64—less than 1%—originated from a S. Asian language. In 2015, a few of us came together to make South Asian lit in translation more visible. Along the way we accrued other milestones, forged connections and, hopefully, made SA lit in translation shine a little brighter. What did it take to get here? Does this one win change much for the space our languages occupy in US publishing? What does it take to exist in a landscape where we are almost invisible?

Moderator: Jason Grunebaum

Panelists: Arunava Sinha, Daisy Rockwell, Shabnam Nadiya, Mahmud Rahman


ALTA45 Roundtable: Launching the New Undergraduate Caucus (virtual)

October 13, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

We are starting a new Undergraduate Caucus. At many colleges and universities, there is already a wealth of literary, scholarly, humanitarian, arts translation activity, with students often taking the lead in creating magazines, websites, community outreach, and activist initiatives. With a host now of graduate programs that focus on translation (MFA, PhD, MA, MS), it feels only natural for ALTA to help inform, orient, and support undergrads as they plan for their multilingual future. Of especial importance: ALTA could become a hub for students to meet and work together across and beyond their home institutions. We feel sure that there are many more resources and exciting initiatives--we just need to connect and get the news out. Please join us!

Format: Teachers and grad students should come prepared to share descriptions of your own institutional programs and initiatives. Undergrads please come to share your own experiences and to let us know how best we can help you at ALTA and in the profession.

Organizers: Marguerite Feitlowitz, Regina Galasso, Sibelan Forrester

Participant: Colleen Lucey


ALTA45 Undergraduate Caucus Meeting (virtual) 

October 15, 10:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time
free and open to the public

ALTA is launching a new undergraduate stream! We now turn to you, students, to let us know and discuss together what would be most helpful and exciting as you explore the many opportunities in the world of literary translation. Join us via zoom for this first exciting conversation. (This session was not recorded.)

2022 ALTA Awards Ceremony and In Memoriam (virtual)

october 6, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time
free and open to the public

Hosted by ALTA Vice President Chenxin Jiang. Tune in to find out this year’s winners of the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, the Italian Prose in Translation Award, and the National Translation Awards in Prose and Poetry! Judges will highlight the works on each prize’s shortlist before announcing the winners and engaging them in a short conversation about their winning translations. A brief In Memoriam will allow for time to honor those translators who have passed away in the previous year.


ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: September 2022 (virtual)

September 27, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms for those who signed up for our Wayfinders Program (the deadline was August 31). The September theme is "Literatures of the Mediterranean." We welcome both classical and contemporary works from any nation or culture with a border on the Mediterranean Sea. 


ALTA45 Roundtable: Literary Translation in Mexico, Canada, and the United States (virtual)

September 22, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

The presidents of the Canadian, Mexican and US literary translation associations will be joined by three members of each association. The roundtable will first provide a profile of each association and then discuss ways we can improve communication among ourselves, developing training and mentorship programs, advocacy, and we will explore each association's wish list for collaboration: the possibility of translation residencies, in-person meetings in Canada and Mexico, approaches to translation of indigenous languages, and other ideas for ways we can collaborate. Our goal is to come up with a consistent structure for working together which can carry these ideas forward.

ATTLC, Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada / LTAC, Literary Translators' Association of Canada

Ametli, Asociación Mexicana de Traductores Literarios

ALTA, The American Literary Translators Association

Format: Each organizer will describe an aspect of what their association does. In advance of the roundtable, participants will receive copies in French, Spanish, and English of the memorandum signed by the three organizations in May 2021.

Organizers: Ellen Elias-Bursać, Bilal Hashmi, Arturo Vázquez Barrón

Participants: Alex Olvera, Amaia Gabantxo, D.P. Snyder, Daniel Casado, Emilie Lafleur, Leticia Garcia, Samantha Schnee, Sean Gasper Bye, Sonya Malaborza, Susan Ouriou 


ALTA45 Panel: Teaching Translation Beyond the Traditional Classroom (virtual)

September 22, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

Collectively, we have taught translation in community writing centers, adult learning centers, retirement centers, creative writing festivals, and online literary magazine workshops.  Teaching translation beyond the conventional classroom reaches communities where creative writing is valued, but where practices may not include translation.  Such teaching can help overcome barriers of access for non-academic learners, celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity, and create community.  In short, literary translation can itself be a powerful community literacy practice.  We will begin with very brief reports on our teaching experiences, using an extensive handout to share details but save time.  We will then invite audience members to share their own experiences and ideas.

Moderator: Clyde Moneyhun

Panelists: Samantha Schnee, Barbara Thimm, Kelsi Vanada


2022 Virtual ALTA Travel Fellows Reading (virtual)

September 20, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time
free and open to the public

Please join ALTA’s 2022 Virtual Travel Fellows for a live virtual reading! In an event hosted by ALTA Board Member Nancy Naomi Carlson, the ten 2022 Fellows read from their translations.


ALTA45 Panel: Bringing a New Audience to Arabic Literature, sponsored by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (virtual)

September 8, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

In 2018, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award launched the translation grant to foster the translation, publication and distribution of Arabic literature around the world. In this panel discussion, Sheikh Zayed Book Award-winning translators will discuss the process by which they were able to write and publish their books, gain attention from the audience, and how other translators may take advantage of these opportunities to expand Arabic stories and culture to new English-speaking audiences. This discussion will be moderated by one of the publishers of an award-winning book, who will share their own perspective. The discussion will be open to Q&A from the audience and a networking opportunity for translators and publishers to connect.

Moderator: Erin Cox

Panelists: Michael Cooperson, Sawad Hussain, Chip Rossetti

Sheikh Zayed Book Award Rights Guide: Click here to access the 2022 Rights Guide.


ALTA45 Roundtable: Translating Children’s Literature: Values, Norms, and Ethics (virtual)

September 8, 2022, 1:00-2:15pm Pacific time

This roundtable will explore the ethical issues involved in the translation of children’s literature, and will address the following questions: What is the role of translators in children’s literature? What are some of the ethical challenges posed by the translation of children’s literature? How much of the ‘other’ culture is or can be preserved in translated children’s literature? What are some of the social and cultural norms that shape translation strategies? How are values implicated in translating picture books? What is the power of translated children’s literature to transform society?

Format: This roundtable will approach its main theme and central questions via the discussion of specific cases of translations of children’s literature into English from various languages.

Organizers: Tal Goldfajn, Denise Kripper

Participants: Helena Lipska, Jasmine Hongyu Zhu (朱弘昱), Corine Tachtiris 


ALTA45 Panel: Getting Things Wrong, Or: Upon Exactitude in Translation (virtual)

September 8, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

The age-old question of exactitude in translation (Borges reference intended) begs an examination of what translation truly is. If the original seed of any novel is “a cathedral of fire” (M. Cunningham)—the finished book is a second-best version of that flame. Each subsequent generation (namely, translations) deserves the same forgiveness. And yet translators MUST strive for accuracy; the taboo against noting errors is misguided. First, do no harm—get it right. But to err in translation is to BE a translator. Translation mistakes are DEEPLY interesting, bespeaking distances between worlds, a gulf encompassed in the mirror’s face: fecund entanglements to be celebrated. Like continuity snafus, to catch mistakes is the work of a loving fan—so many Easter eggs in the domain of translation.

Moderator: Antony Shugaar

Panelists: Todd Portnowitz, Lynne Sharon Schwartz


ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: August 2022 (virtual)

august 30, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month. The August theme is "Women in Translation." We welcome works of any genre written by a woman, and translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender. 


ALTA45 Panel: Shared Book, Shared Values: A Collaboration View of Translation (virtual)

August 25, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

Translation and translation publishing historically have involved a series of disconnections rather than connections, with "invisible translators" employed by publishers to translate work of authors they may never meet or even speak to. This panel, which features Uruguayan poet Silvia Guerra, co-translators Jesse Lee Kercheval and Jeannine Marie Pitas, and her Eulalia Books publisher Michelle Gil-Montero, will explore an alternative model, one that values personal connection, sees translation as a collaborative act between a poet, translators, editor. We will discuss both process and the values that were important throughout the translation of Guerra's A Sea at Dawn: curiosity, growth, humor, teamwork, and friendship.

Moderator: Jesse Lee Kercheval

Panelists: Jeannine Marie Pitas, Silvia Guerra, Michelle Gil-Montero


ALTA45 Roundtable: Literature isn't a Tourist Guidebook: Translating Southeast Asian Lit (virtual)

August 25, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

seams, a new collective of translators of Southeast Asian literature, will lead a discussion about the ways in which literature from this region is framed, discussed, marketed and translated. What are the decisions that come into play during this process, and how can Southeast Asian writing be made more accessible to everyone without compromising the complexity and multiplicity of languages that mix and mingle within the region? We will consider the journeys of several works of Southeast Asian literature that have made it into English translation as well as discuss challenges that translators continue to face, including the region's general lack of funding and the need to dismantle power structures left over from colonialism.

Format: If they wish, participants may present briefly on the translation and reception of a work of translated Southeast Asian literature--their own or someone else's. We will then have a wide-ranging discussion about various issues affecting translators of this region's writing.

Organizers: Jeremy Tiang, Mui Poopoksakul, Tiffany Tsao

Participants: Christina Ng, Jasmine Hongyu Zhu (朱弘昱), Soleil David, YZ Chin 


ALTA45 Panel: Words that Get Off the Page: Translating for the Stage and the Page (virtual)

August 11, 2022, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

Literary translators of embodied texts including plays labor so that not only does the translation become a print object, it moves out into the air when other artists stage the work, perhaps in many iterations. How do theatre practitioners consider translation from different angles, including stageability and embodiment, than translators aiming for the form of the page? Each panelist presents a unique angle including the literary translator’s perspective on the page, hybrid poetics’ practical and formal considerations, and directing and staging for an audience. Bringing together experience translating and staging Spanish, French, Russian, and Italian plays as well as a broad spectrum of theatrical experience, we hope to spark lively conversations and devote considerable time to Q&A.

Moderator: Robert Eric Shoemaker

Panelists: James Richie, Nancy Jones


ALTA45 Panel: Politics of Red-Tagging Translators: Experiences from the Philippines (virtual)

August 11, 2022, 4:00-5:15pm Pacific time

With the recent elections in the Philippines and the return of the Marcos dynasty to power, literature deemed "dangerous" by the Philippine government has been "red-tagged" as communist, terrorist, or otherwise not fully supportive of the current administration. Literature that has been red-tagged so far includes historical political texts, as well as children's story books. What happens when a translator is red-tagged? How do these new developments in politics affect our work?

Moderator: Amanda L. Andrei

Panelists: Soleil David, Ramon Guillermo


ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: July 2022 (virtual)

july 26, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms. The July theme was "Asian Literature."


ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: June 2022 (virtual)

june 28, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms. The June theme was "Cafe Latino." Cafe Latino welcomes translations of texts from Spanish from Latin American countries. 


Panel: Translation Rights and Permissions (virtual)

june 23, 10:00-11:15aM Pacific time

This panel addresses questions related to permissions from the copyright holder of the work to be translated. We will discuss issues such as: how to and whom to query for translation rights; legal and financial considerations; fair use exceptions; and permissions for translation theses and dissertations. Corine Tachtiris (moderator), Kristin Dykstra, Erin Jerome, Bishan Samaddar


Panel: Making a Living as a Freelance Translator (virtual)

june 23, 1:00-2:15PM Pacific time

Literary translators are notoriously underpaid and undervalued. In this session, four full-time freelancers will discuss what it takes to make a living in a profession with no official minimum rate, how they find paying gigs and diversify their revenue streams, reconcile passion projects with paid ones, and manage to sustain a practice of translation, especially if translation isn’t their only commitment. They will also share resources for self-employed translators, including advice for beginners. Bruna Dantas Lobato (moderator), Larissa Kyzer, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Edward Gauvin


Panel: Reviewing Translations: An Outside Look (virtual)

june 9, 10:00-11:15am Pacific time

Translators continue to bemoan the lack of inclusion of the translator in reviews of translated works: while the translator has chosen every word the English-language reader encounters, why do so many reviewers elide them–or, at most, give them a single sentence praising their writing’s “fluidity”? What role do editors of literary journals play in the process? Panelists Kate Hedeen, Bill Marx and Ron Slate all wear double hats as critics and editors. Come share in their conversation about the various considerations at work when they assign, edit and/or write reviews of translations. Tess Lewis (moderator), Kate Hedeen, Bill Marx, Ron Slate


Panel: The Translator as Curator (virtual)

june 9, 4:00-5:15PM Pacific time

Although frequently overlooked, translators play a vital role in shaping the lists of publishers and helping determine what makes its way to an English-reading audience through reader’s reports, samples, recommendations, and much more. This panel will turn a spotlight on these activities and investigate what it means for a translator to act as a curator—what forms this can take, what responsibilities the translator has, how this role can be highlighted, and what impact this has on the translation ecosystem as a whole. Chad Post (moderator), Julia Sanches, Anton Hur


ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: May 2022 (virtual)

may 31, 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms. The May theme was "Eastern Europe - Multigenre."

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Spring Multilingual Workshops (virtual)

April 25-30, 2022

Multilingual translation workshops are small groups of translators who meet with an established translator (the workshop leader) to discuss and receive feedback on a brief excerpt of their work in translation. From emerging translators looking to workshop their first translation, to established translators looking for help on a tricky passage, these workshops are for everyone! Each workshop lasted 105 minutes in Zoom, and offered a collaborative experience between one workshop leader and 6 participants who circulate their work in advance. Stay tuned for another round of workshops in August! 

ALTA45 Bilingual Reading Series: April 2022 (virtual)

April 26, 2022, 5pm-6pm Pacific Time

The ALTA Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is always a celebration of the work of our community. Each month's bilingual readings will be comprised of six readings from 5pm-6pm Pacific Time on the last Tuesday of the month, followed by an informal social hour in Zoom breakout rooms. The April theme was "Multigenre Potpourri." 

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