Whether you’re translating from Spanish, Hindi, or Korean—and whether you’re new to translation or not—this class is designed to equip you with practical strategies and resources for developing compelling, beautiful translations that remain true to the original text while attaining resonance in English. Our class will read and discuss selections from such texts as George Steiner’s After Babel and Don Mee Choi’s “Translation Is a Mode = Translation Is an Anti-Neocolonial Mode.” These will drive in-class conversations on the aesthetic, cultural, and political challenges that translators face. And together, we will discuss strategies for overcoming the most common challenges of translation, then put these strategies into practice through exercises and prompts over the course of the class.
You will pick a few short pieces (in any language) that you want to translate, practice various approaches to translation, workshop your translations, and talk through the challenges you faced. You will come away with new strategies for overcoming challenges and taking on exciting projects of your own.
Erin L. McCoy is a student in the University of Houston’s Ph.D. program for literature and creative writing, and holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington. She is acquisitions editor for Seattle-based independent publisher Entre Ríos Books, where she seeks out and facilitates the translation of Argentine poets. Erin won second place in the 2019–2020 Rougarou Poetry Contest, judged by CAConrad, and her poem, “Futures,” was selected by Natalie Diaz for inclusion in Best New Poets 2017. Her poetry and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Narrative, Bennington Review, Conjunctions, Pleiades, West Branch, and other publications. She serves as an assistant poetry editor and fiction reader for Gulf Coast. She is from Louisville, Kentucky. Learn more at erinlmccoy.com.