Translating to Cross an Ancient Divide

Parting of the Seas, YORAM RAANAN

(Image: "The Splitting of the Seas" by Yoram Raanan) Continue Reading

Translation Talks with Megan McDowell

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We interviewed Megan McDowell about her translation of Diego Zúñiga's Camanchaca (Coffee House Press, 2017) Continue Reading

Déjenme que te cuente


Olaya Barr on beingness, of-and-between language[s]. Continue Reading

Written in the Dark: Five Poets in the Siege of Leningrad

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Alex Niemi reviews Ugly Duckling Presse's latest collection of Russian poetry in translation, edited by Polina Barskova.  Continue Reading

THE ROU OF FRIE: una historia de traducción / the story of this translation

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 Victoria Cóccaro and Rebekah Smith, the co-translators of Pablo Katchadjian's the rou of alch (UDP, 2016), offer us a dazzling glimpse into their call-and-response process through language. Bilingüe/Bilingual Continue Reading

Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s Novel, "Whitefly"

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 Gretchen McCullough reviews Jonathon Smolin's translation, published by Hoopoe Imprint (2016) Continue Reading

New episode of Translation Talks!

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Words that Build the Soul


What follows are the scripts of five episodes aired on the Dizionario segment of the radio program Fahrenheit in spring 2009, contributed to Exchanges by Somali-Italian writer Christina Ubah Ali Farah, and translated from the Italian by Hope Campbell Gustafson. Continue Reading

Translator's Introduction: Writing Tsvetaeva into our American Canon


Writer and translator, Mary Jane White, offers us a thoughtful foray into her work and joy.  Continue Reading

Translation as Bridge to the Other: Trump’s Promise to the LGBTQ Community

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Bradley Warren Davis offers us an essential reflection on our world. His new translation of Benito Pastoriza Iyodo's 12 de junio appears here with the author's original, and consent. Continue Reading

Reflecting the Voice of an Iranian Woman Writer in Translation

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In this essay, Leila Sadegh Beigi analyzes the Franklin Lewis' translation of Cheragh-ha-ra Man Khamoosh Mikonam (Things We Left Unsaid), written by contemporary Iranian-Armenian woman writer, Zoya Pirzad. Continue Reading

Translation on the margins of possibility: encounters with satire


Mary Frank, University of Bristol, England Continue Reading

From the Sketchpad: A Cultivated Readership


With the funding I received courtesy of the Japan Foundation IPS grant and CAPS, I was able to spend all of June and part of July in Tokyo attending readings and forums, speaking with translators, and furthering my own understanding of the sharp divides between the Japanese translation publishing market... Continue Reading

Untranslatability: Ravens and Tigers and Camels, Oh My!

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Current discussions about the discipline of Comparative Literature often consider the role of translation in the field and its relationship to the ongoing definition of a canon, or canons. Of foremost significance is what appears in translation; why does Vintage publish Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky and translated by Sandra... Continue Reading

Solidarity, or What is Gained in Translation


For those translators and lovers of translation who are depressed by the rhetoric of loss and distortion that continues to characterize popular translation criticism in the West—a legacy of Romanticism with its cult of original genius—just take a look at Soviet rhetoric for something completely different. Continue Reading

Interview with Kevin M. F. Platt

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Exchanges Skyped with Kevin M. F. Platt, editor and translator of Hit Parade: The Orbita Group. We asked him about the innovative translation process that led to this beautiful publication with Ugly Duckling Presse. Here's a transcript of the conversation: Continue Reading

“The First Gathering,” or A Music Composed of Voices

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Image Credit: Gathering, Laurie Justus Pace Continue Reading

Sor Juana & Other Monsters

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Announcing Undercurrents!


 Image: Cameron York's "Tiny Town Big Voices Pink" Continue Reading

On the Trail of a Vanished Poet


written by Dr. Merle Bachman--poet, translator, professor, and much more... Continue Reading

Exchanges featured on The Pigeonhole!

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Found in Translation

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By Siavash Saadlou Continue Reading

Amber Brian and The Native Archive

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In the first of the 2016 Spring Translation Talks hosted by Iowa's Translation Workshop, Amber Brian drew us into the captivating world of a centuries-old manuscript and the thorny questions of history and representation. Brian opened her talk with a gripping, novel-esque anecdote of how the 17th Century manuscript, a... Continue Reading

Call for Submissions: Spring '16 Issue


In conjunction with the University of Iowa's Just Living initiative, we’ll be dedicating our pages to those voices working to subvert and challenge oppressive systems, and we want translations that do justice to their words. We would especially like to hear from those that have been deliberately absented from the... Continue Reading

The Uneasy Metamorphoses of Machine Translation


In this essay, Tegan Raleigh offers a toe-dip into the mote dividing machine and human translation. And here is a reaffirming ebook, 10 Poems Ruthlessly Mangled By Google Translate. Continue Reading

From the Sketchpad: Translating Billy Collins with Juan J. Almagro


For me, translation has been a journey of unexpected discovery. It was never something I intended to do, but a dear friend suggested that we co-translate a book of poems. On one of the last pages I wrote a couple of lines thanking him for showing me the generosity of... Continue Reading

Our Winter '16 Issue!

Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters: Continue Reading

Toward a surprisingly similar yet different form of Imagination

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In this essay Azita Ghahreman grapples with the poetry of translation, the poet-translator relationship, and the symbiosis of creative and critical word-crossings. Find her bio and a link to her work below. Continue Reading

In Conversation: Aviya Kushner, author of "The Grammar of God"


Aviya Kushner cares a lot about names.  In her visit to the Translation Workshop to discuss her book, The Grammar of God, she expressed unease with English’s inability to comport both name and story in the Bible. Continue Reading

Straight from the Sketchpad: Translating Japanese with Laurel Taylor

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Japanese syntax can be infuriating, even after 8 years of study. It can twist and turn in unexpected ways, especially in the hands of a master writer. Verbal clauses can be embedded inside verbal clauses ad nauseum, and sentences can go on for pages, especially in older works not yet... Continue Reading

Translating Myself: Adventures in Self-Translation at the Iowa Translation Workshop


It was my second time presenting work in the translation workshop. The story was called "The Grey Quarter," and I’d just written it just a few months before, for my fiction workshop in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA. Now I was presenting it into English. Continue Reading

Winter 2015 Submissions Are OPEN!

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Hi Exchangers!   Continue Reading

The which and why of translating Arabic literature

“Arabic after all is a controversial language,” a New York publisher told celebrated Palestinian theorist Edward Said when dismissing his recommendation to translate Egyptian author and future Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz into English. Despite the parochialism of his comment, the publisher was very much on point. Continue Reading

Defining translingualism

Even Americans, notorious for speaking only one language, have heard of lingualism: monolingualism, bilingualism, trilingualism, beyond which prefixes we usually quit enumerating and accord the enviable polyglot an all-purpose multilingual status.  Continue Reading

Graphic novels in translation

Graphic novels are literature too, with the same capacity to influence culture, politics, and ideas as any of the more traditional forms. This was the message that Ana Merino, director of the MFA in Spanish Creative Writing at Iowa, wished to impart during her talk on “Translation as a Space... Continue Reading

On retranslating the Ramayana

Here at the Iowa Translation Workshop, our 50th anniversary year continues with a spring colloquium series for which Philip Lutgendorf, professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the university, gave us the lowdown on his current project, a retranslation of the Sanskrit epic poem the Ramayana (that’s ruh-MY-uh-nuh, not... Continue Reading

Winter '15 issue live, Spring '15 submissions open!

On this snow day in Iowa, we're proud to announce the publication of our Winter '15 issue, ESTRANGED, and the concurrent opening of Spring '15 submissions. Happy reading and translating! Continue Reading

The ethical task of the translator

In our age of nation states, in which languages are mostly confined within national borders, translation can transcend political boundaries by liberating original texts from those who might otherwise suppress them. Such was the theme of last month's 37th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA): the intimate... Continue Reading

Maureen Freely visits Iowa

As translators—and indeed, writers—don’t we all wish we had had the opportunity to move to Turkey as children in the 1960s? This was the great luck of Maureen Freely, an Ida Beam Visiting Professor for Fall 2014 at the University of Iowa, who was transplanted from her native New Jersey... Continue Reading

Fall '14 submissions open!

It's officially open season over here at Exchanges! Continue Reading

Welcome back; 50th anniversary of Iowa translation

Over here at Exchanges we’ve had a few delays rebooting the site for the fall semester, but we’re back now and ready for a watershed year, complete with new MFA director Aron Aji, a student editorial board of six first- and second-years, the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Translation Workshop,... Continue Reading

Prizewinning Russian minimalism, new MFA director!

Exciting news for the spring semester, translation lovers! Continue Reading

IC Book Festival, Heaney Memorial Reading

If you weren't present for Teemu Manninen's reading at Prairie Lights last Sunday, boy, did you miss out! The author of five poetry collections in his native Finnish, Teemu commands such scintillating English (read: near-native, despite the claim of his website to mere excellence) that last weekend he read his... Continue Reading

Catcher in the Rye in Russian

Here at the University of Iowa fall semester is already in full swing, just like the packed schedule of literary events around town. On August 30th the first of many readings featuring fellows from the 2013 International Writing Program showcased work by Russian poet Dmitry Golynko, including the crowd-rousing "Whip... Continue Reading

Mary Jo Bang, Mission Creek, Oh My!

I was working at the Iowa Review when I first read a section from Mary Jo Bang's new translation of Dante's Inferno. Like many who've read the work since, I was bowled over. The translation is not simply a modern adaption of an old classic a la O, the basketball-themed... Continue Reading

Our newest issue, and our new site

Welcome to Exchanges's new home. This cozy new (web) space is yet another evolution in our little magazine's history. We began in 1989 as a print magazine, a project of the poet and translator Daniel Weissbort. Continue Reading