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About this Conference and Conversation Series

Watch the video recording of this event below:

Join us for Week 14 of Translating the Future as we continue our series of conversations between translators with Building Translator Communities and Communities for Translation,” with Paige Aniyah Morris, Shuchi Saraswat, Allison Markin Powell & M Lynx Qualey.

Literary translation was once a lonely profession but translators no longer need toil in isolation. All manner of communities have sprung up to support translators and literature in translation. These speakers have founded blogs, publications, and databases, as well as collectives and reading series — both virtual and local — to fill the gaps and meet the needs of translators, editors, booksellers, and readers. Sponsored by Middlebury Language Schools.

Click here to register for this event and for the link to the livestream. Free and open to the public, the livestream will start at Tue, August 11th, at 10:00 AM (EDT).

The conversations will be hosted by Esther Allen & Allison Markin Powell; with guest co-host Mary Ann Newman. *Viewers can submit questions during the livestreaming at [email protected].

Speaker Bios:

Paige Aniyah Morris is a writer and translator from Jersey City, NJ, currently based in Seoul, South Korea. She holds BAs in Ethnic Studies and Literary Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Newark. The recipient of awards from the Fulbright Program and the American Literary Translators Association, her writing and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in The Margins,The Rumpus, Strange Horizons, Nabillera, Necessary Fiction, and more. With Eugene Lee, Gisele Pineda, and Spencer Lee Lenfield, she co-founded Disoriented, a platform to generate discussions about how social identities translate between Asia and the US.

Shuchi Saraswat is a writer, editor, and reading series director. She's worked at the independent bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, for the past nine years and in 2018 she founded the Transnational Literature Series, which focuses on themes of migration, the intersection of politics and literature, and works in translation. In 2019, she served as a co-judge for the National Book Award in Translated Literature. She is a nonfiction editor at the literary journal AGNI, where she will be co-editing a portfolio of translated literature with Jennifer Kwon Dobbs for the Fall 2021 issue. She currently lives in Boston.

Allison Markin Powell has been awarded grants from English PEN and the NEA, and the 2020 PEN America Translation Prize for The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakaami. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Kanako Nishi, and Fuminori Nakamura. She was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders, served as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee and currently represents the committee on PEN’s Board of Trustees, and she maintains the database Japanese Literature in English.

M Lynx Qualey is founding editor of the translation-community website ArabLit (, which won a 2017 London Book Fair prize. The project has since expanded to ArabKidLitNow!, the ArabLit Story Prize, and the ArabLit Quarterly magazine. MLQ is also co-host of the popular BULAQ podcast, and she writes regularly for a variety of publications. Her translation Sonia Nimr's Wondrous Journeys in Amazing Lands is forthcoming from Interlink this fall.

Mary Ann Newman translates from Catalan and Spanish. She has published fiction by Quim Monzó, non-fiction by Xavier Rubert de Ventós, and poetry by Josep Carner. Her most recent translation is Private Life, a 1932 Catalan classic by Josep Maria de Sagarra (Archipelago Books), for which she won the Premi J. B. Cendrós 2017 from Òmnium Cultural and the 2017 North American Catalan Society Prize. She is currently translating another book of poetry by Josep Carner. She was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1998. She is the founding Director of the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S., the President-Delegate of the Premi Internacional Catalunya, a member of the board of the Catalan Institute of America. She recently organized the first online Sant Jordi NYC Festival of Literature in Translation.

Translating the Future:

Visit Translating the Future page here for the complete conference Program, video recordings of previous events in this series, as well as archival audio recordings, articles, the original program, and more history from PEN's 1970 World of Translation conference.

This conference and conversation series is co-sponsored by PEN America, the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, with additional support from the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. This week's conversation was generously sponsored by Middlebury Language Schools.