About this Conference and Conversation Series

Watch the video of this conversation here:

Join us for Week 7 of Translating the Future as we continue our series of conversations between renowned translators with "Motherless Tongues, Multiple Belongings I," featuring Jeffrey Angles and Mónica de la Torre in conversation; moderated by Bruna Dantas Lobato.

Central to the monolingual paradigm is the cherished notion of the "mother tongue": the single, home language instilled from birth. "This particular vision does not want to admit... the ability to live multiple belongings," writes Yasemin Yildiz in her landmark 2012 Beyond the Mother Tongue. Jeffrey Angles, who translates from Japanese and has also won high honors in Japan for his poetry written in Japanese, and Mónica de la Torre, a poet who has written in and translated from both Spanish and English, discuss the joys and perils of their personal linguistic multiplicity. Moderated and inspired by Brazilian writer and translator Bruna Dantas Lobato.

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, June 23rd, at 1:30 PM (EDT).

The conversations will be hosted by Esther Allen & Allison Markin Powell. *Viewers can submit questions during the livestreaming at [email protected].

Speaker Bios:

Jeffrey Angles (photo by Dirk Skiba).

Jeffrey Angles is a poet, translator, and professor of Japanese literature at Western Michigan University. His collection of original Japanese-language poetry won the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, a rare honor accorded only a few non-native speakers since the award began in 1949. He has translated in English dozens of translations of Japan’s most important modern authors and poets. He believes strongly in the role of translators as activists and has focused on translating socially engaged, feminist, and queer writers.

Mónica de la Torre (photo by Bruce Pearson).
Mónica de la Torre works with and between languages. Her books include Repetition Nineteen, just out from Nightboat Books, and The Happy End/All Welcome, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. She teaches poetry at Brooklyn College. A recent photo-essay appears in Granta 151: Membranes.

Bruna Dantas Lobato (photo by Jared Krauss).
Bruna Dantas Lobato is a Brazilian writer and translator based in St. Louis. Her writing has appeared in A Public Space, BOMB, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Common, and elsewhere, and has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, A Public Space, NYU, Bennington College, and DISQUIET. Her translations from the Portuguese have appeared in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and Massachusetts Review. Her translation of Caio Fernando Abreu's story collection Moldy Strawberries received a 2019 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant and is forthcoming from Archipelago Books in 2021.

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.