Found in Translation

Scholarly translations are a constant battle between literal accuracy and literary interpretation.


About Esther Allen

Esther Allen is a writer and translator. A professor in the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian and  French Ph.D. Programs at City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center and at  Baruch College (CUNY), she is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships (1995 and 2010) and was a 2009-2010 Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. In 2014-2015, she was a Biography Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography, working on a biography of José Martí, under contract with Henry Holt & Co. In 2017, her translation of Zama, by Antonio Di Benedetto, won the National Translation Award.

She co-founded the PEN World Voices Festival in 2005, and guided the work of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund from its inception in 2003 to 2010. In 2006, the French government named her a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres. For PEN International and the Institut Ramon Lull,she edited To Be Translated or Not To Be, published in English, Catalan and German and distributed at the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2012 she received the Feliks Gross Award from the CUNY Academy for the Arts and Sciences.

Her essays, translations and interviews have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the Paris Review, Words Without Borders, Bomb, LitHub, and other publications.

(from artist's website)

About Kristin Dykstra

Kristin Dykstra is a writer, literary translator, editor and scholar. She writes about people, places, and culture, with a special interest in motions and intersections amongst Americas.

Among other professional recognitions, Dykstra held a 2012 Literary Translation Fellowship with the National Endowment of the Arts and received the inaugural 2014 Gulf Coast Prize for Literary Translation. Her translation of a book by Marcelo Morales, The World as Presence, has been longlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award in Poetry. While teaching in the Department of English at Illinois State University (2002-2014), where she entered as an Assistant Professor and left as Full Professor, Dykstra won the 2007-8 Dean's Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement and a 2005-6 College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Initiative Award.

She is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Saint Michael's College in Vermont.

(from artist's website)

About Peter Cole

Poet and translator Peter Cole has been affiliated with Yale since 2006 and currently teaches classes each spring in the Comparative Literature Department and Judaic Studies. He is the author of five books of poems, most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG). Cole’s many volumes of translation from Hebrew and Arabic include The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition (Yale), The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 (Princeton), Taha Muhammad Ali’s So What: New & Selected Poems 1973-2005 (Copper Canyon), Aharon Shabtai’s War & Love, Love & War: New and Selected Poems (New Directions), and the novels of Yoel Hoffmann (New Directions). He has also written a book of non-fiction, Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza (Schocken/Nextbook), with Adina Hoffman, and edited Hebrew Writers on Writing (Trinity).

Cole has received numerous honors for his work, including fellowships from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, the Association of American Publishers’ Hawkins Award for Book of the Year, the PEN Translation Award for Poetry, the American Library Association’s Brody Medal for the Jewish Book of the Year, and a TLS Translation Prize. He is the recipient of a 2010 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named a MacArthur Fellow.  He is currently a co-editor of Princeton University Press’s Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation, and divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.

(from Yale University)