Applications for the 2023 BCLT Summer School (23-29 July 2023) will open in January.
In the meantime, you can watch the plenary sessions and short talks from the 2022 Summer School:
Madhu Kaza, Hamid Roslan, Lucia Collischonn, Gitanjali Patel (chair)
The idea of translating a 'multilingual' text begs the question, what is the definition of a 'monolingual' text? During this panel, our three excellent speakers discuss their experiences of language, multilingualism and translating multilingualism, with reference to examples from their own work. In moving beyond traditional binaries of monolingual/ multilingual, they explore more dynamic and fluid conceptualisations of language and translation.
This event celebrates the publication of the new Tilted Axis Press anthology asking questions about whiteness, the canon, and imperialism. Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation is edited by Kavita Bhanot and Jeremy Tiang.
Frantz Fanon wrote in 1961 that ‘Decolonisation is always a violent phenomenon,’ meaning that the violence of colonialism can only be counteracted in kind. As colonial legacies linger today, what are the ways in which we can disentangle literary translation from its roots in imperial violence? In this anthology, 21 writers and translators from across the world share their ideas and practices for disrupting and decolonising translation.
You will hear from four of those writers and translators – Sofia Rehman, Elisa Taber, Sandra Tamele and Nariman Youssef – in a discussion chaired by Kavita Bhanot.
Join Kaiama Glover and Barbara Ofosu-Somuah as they discuss how translation functions as a mode of racialised narrative and therefore demands an ethics of care that implicates the writer, the translator, the publisher, and even the audience.
How do publishers acquire titles to translate? What are their greatest challenges? What advice do they have for translators whether at the pitching stage, translation, editing, publicity, and beyond? What are their expectations of translators at each of these stages? This panel sheds light on the decision processes editors go through when considering a title for translation, as well as to clarify what is the translator’s role when bringing the book into English.
We are joined by Dedalus Books (UK), Ugly Duckling Presse (USA), Bakwa Books (Cameroon), and Pushkin Press (UK). The panel is led by Sawad Hussain, co-chair of the Translator’s Association (UK).
What happens at a BCLT Summer School?
The BCLT Summer School brings together writers and translators from around the world for a one-week programme of hands-on translation and creative writing practice.
After more than 20 years of running literary translation summer schools, the BCLT Summer School is a vibrant, tried and tested format for the professional development of literary translators. Not only does it provide a nurturing environment for translators to work on their craft; it also establishes a valuable network of translators, editors, publishers and indeed friends from around the world.
The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators and editors, working from a range of languages into English. We also include in the programme two creative writing sessions for literary translators with authors writing in English, as well as plenary sessions and short talks addressing various aspects of the theory and practice of literary translation, with a focus on the professional development for translators.
Our speakers for this year's short talks and panels are drawn from the forthcoming Tilted Axis anthology Violent Phenomena: Translation and its Discontents. What does it mean to decolonise literary translation, and is such an endeavour even possible? Contributors from the anthology share their thoughts on how translation can be reimagined and reclaimed in order to dismantle power structures inherent in the literary world.
Arabic - Nariman Youssef
Nariman Youssef is a Cairo-born literary translator based in London. She manages an Arabic translation team part-time at the British Library, and has led and curated translation workshops with Shadow Heroes, Shubbak Festival and Africa Writes. Her recent translations include Mo(a)t: Stories from Arabic (UEAP, 2021), Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter (new edition, Interlink, 2020), Donia Kamal's Cigarette No. 7 (Hoopoe, 2018), and contributions to publications like The Common, Arab Lit Quarterly, Words Without Borders. Nariman holds a master’s degree in Translation Studies from the University of Edinburgh.
Arabic Writer in Residence - Haytham el-Wardany
Haytham el-Wardany is an Egyptian writer of short stories and experimental prose who lives and works in Berlin. He is the author of The Book of Sleep (Alkarma Publishing House, Cairo 2017 / Seagull Books, Calcutta 2020) and How to Disappear (2013, Kayfa Ta Publications, Cairo / 2018, Sternberg Press, Berlin/NY). His recent short story collection is titled Irremediable (2020, Alkarma Publishing House, Cairo).
BCMS (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian) - Ellen Elias-Bursać
Ellen Elias-Bursac has been translating prose by Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian authors since the 1980s, including writing by David Albahari, Ivana Bodrožić, Daša Drndić, Miljenko Jergović, Olja Knežević,Kristian Novak, Vedrana Rudan, Antun Šoljan, Igor Štiks, Dubravka Ugrešić, Karim Zaimović. ALTA's National Translation Award was given to her translation of Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer in 2006. She was given the Mary Zirin Prize by the Association of Women in Slavic Studies in 2015 for her work as a scholar and translator. She is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association.
German - Priscilla Layne
Priscilla Layne is Associate Professor of German and Adjunct Associate Professor of African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her book, White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture (2018), was published by the University of Michigan Press. She has presented at national and international conferences, including Comics Forum, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the German Studies Association, where she is a member of the Comics Studies Network. She has also published essays on Turkish German culture, translation, punk, film and comics. She recently translated Olivia Wenzel's debut novel, 1000 Serpentinen Angst, due out in June. And she is currently finishing a manuscript on Afro German Afrofuturism and a critical guide to Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun.
German Writer in Residence - Martin R. Dean
is a Swiss writer and essayist with a Caribbean background (Trinidad & Tobago). He writes about intercultural issues, racism, identity and forms of love. In 2009 he wrote the novel A Suitcase Full of Wishes (2011) in London, in which he describes the relationship between a Swiss woman and the son of a Swiss immigrant. Among his most famous works are the story of his two Caribbean fathers Meine Väter (2003), the essay on foreign lands Verbeugung vor Spiegeln (2015) and the romance novel Warum wir zusammen sind (2019).
Photo credit: Ayse Yaras
German Writer - Angélique Beldner
Angélique Beldner is a Swiss radio and television journalist. Since 2008 she has worked for public broadcaster SRF, initially as a radio editor and presenter before switching to SRF television in 2015. She presents the main current affairs show SRF Tagesschau and the popular quiz show 1 gegen 100. In 2021 she published Der Sommer, in dem ich Schwarz wurde [The Summer I Became Black], co-authored with Martin R. Dean.
Japanese - Asa Yoneda
Asa Yoneda is a literary translator and interpreter whose publications include Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto, The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya, and the upcoming Idol, Burning, by Rin Usami. Born in Japan and based in the UK, she has led workshops for BIPOC translators and on translating into second languages, and is currently co-editing a chapbook series for Strangers Press.
Japanese Writer in Residence - Yusho Takiguchi
Yusho Takiguchi is an award-winning Japanese fiction writer. In 2011, he won the Sincho Prize for New Writers for his novella Gakki. His awards success continued in 2015 with the Noma Literature Newcomer Award for his short collection Ai to Jinsei. Then in 2016 Yusho won the Akutagawa Award for Shindeinaimono （The Unceasing）. In 2018 he participated in the International Writing Program at Iowa University and published his experience as Iowa Diary. His publications include Nezou, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nasu no Kagayaki, and Koukasen. Yusho’s latest work is Nagai Ichinichi.
Literature from Taiwan - Jeremy Tiang
Jeremy Tiang has translated over twenty books from Chinese, including novels by Lo Yi-Chin, Su Wei-Chen, Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Chan Ho-Kei, Zhang Yueran and Shuang Xuetao; his own novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City.
Literature from Taiwan Writer in Residence - Kan Yao-Ming
Winner of the Taipei Book Fair Award, Openbook Award, Taiwan Literature Award, and Golden Tripod Award, Kan Yao-Ming is hailed as Taiwan’s foremost "Neo Nativist" writer, successfully mixing farce, tall tales, folk legend, and collective memories to create his own uniquely magic realist world.
MA in Literary Translation Strand - Jen Calleja
Jen Calleja is a writer, literary translator, mentor and editor based in Hastings, UK. She has translated over a dozen works of German-language literature, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for her translations. She also edits translations by others, mentors emerging literary translators, and is co-publisher at Praspar Press, a micro-press for Maltese literature in English and English translation. Jen is a PhD candidate in Creative and Critical Writing at UEA.
Photo credit: Robin Silas Christian
Multilingual Poetry - Leo Boix
Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet and translator born in Argentina who lives and works in the UK. His debut English collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021) was awarded the PBS Wild Card Choice and was selected as one of the best five books of poetry by The Guardian (August 2021). He has authored another two books, in Spanish, Un Lugar Propio (2015) and Mar de Noche (2017), both with Letras del Sur Editora, Argentina. His forthcoming book is To Love a Woman/Amar a una mujer (Poetry Translation Centre-PTC, 2022), a collection of poems by the Argentine queer writer Diana Bellesi, which received a PEN Translate prize. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works program, co-director of Un Nuevo Sol, an Arts Council national scheme to nurture new voices of Latinx writers in the UK, and an advisory board member of the Poetry Translation Centre. Boix is also a mentor for the Ledbury Poetry Critics scheme run by the University of Liverpool and for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships scheme. He was the recipient of the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize Award 2018 and the Keats-Shelley Prize 2019, as well as being awarded The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition 2021 (2nd prize).
Photo credit - Caleb Femi
Multilingual Prose - Anton Hur
Anton Hur is the translator of several books from Korean into English (and one book from English into Korean). He has won PEN translation grants transatlantically and has taught at Seoul National University, the Ewha University School of Translation and Interpretation, and the Literary Translation Institute of Korea.
Training the Trainer - Daniel Hahn
Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with eighty-something books to his name. Forthcoming translations include Diamela Eltit's novel Never Did the Fire, which is being published alongside Catching Fire, his diary of the translation process. He is currently working on a collection of short stories by Machado de Assis and a Portuguese play.
Photo credit: Anita Staff
Ukrainian - Olena Jennings
Olena Jennings translated the poetry collection Pray to the Empty Wells (Lost Horse Press) in collaboration with the author, Iryna Shuvalova. Her translation with Oksana Lutsyshyna of Kateryna Kalytko’s No One Knows Us Here, and We Don’t Know Anyone is forthcoming this year also from Lost Horse Press. Her translation of Vasyl Makhno’s poetry collection Paper Bridge is forthcoming from Plamen Press. Her translations have been published in journals such as Asymptote and Consequence and are forthcoming in Two Lines. She is the author of the novel Temporary Shelter recently released from Cervena Barva Press. She is the founder and curator of the New York City based Poets of Queens.
Photo credit: Iryna Sosnovska
Ukrainian Writer in Residence - Artem Chekh
Artem Chekh is a Ukrainian writer of more than 10 fiction and non-fiction books, mostly known for his latest book Absolute Zero and the works District D and Who Are You? Born in Cherkasy, Artem now lives in Kyiv. He’s married to filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk and they have a son. In 2015-2016, Artem took part in the Russo-Ukrainian War and has served as a soldier in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This experience is vividly depicted in his book Absolute Zero, which became a milestone for him.
He is published in English, German, Polish, Czech and his books have received the Gogol Literary Prize (2018), Joseph Conrad-Kozienowski Literary Prize (2019), BBC Book of the Year (2021) and other awards. The latest book Who Are You? has been made into a film and the film Rock. Paper. Grenade (Felix and Me – Ukrainian version) is going to be distributed in 2022.
Creative Writing Workshop and Plenary Sessions
This year's creative writing workshops have been programmed by BCLT's Dr Cecilia Rossi.
Thanks to the support of the NCW Visible Communities project, the plenary sessions are programmed by Kavita Bhanot and Jeremy Tiang. Our speakers for this year's short talks and panels are drawn from the forthcoming Tilted Axis anthology Violent Phenomena: Translation and its Discontents. What does it mean to decolonise literary translation, and is such an endeavour even possible? Contributors from the anthology share their thoughts on how translation can be reimagined and reclaimed in order to dismantle power structures inherent in the literary world.
Khairani Barokka is the Editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, and a writer and artist from Jakarta, with over two decades of professional translation experience. Okka’s work has been presented widely internationally, and centres disability justice as anticolonial praxis, and access as translation. Among her honours, she has been Modern Poetry in Translation's Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, an Artforum Must-See, and Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing. Okka’s books include Indigenous Species, Rope, and Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (as co-editor). Her latest is Ultimatum Orangutan, shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize.
Picture description: A black and white photo of an Indonesian woman in profile, with short hair, a visible silver earring and dark dress.
Photo credit: Matthew Thompson.
Kavita Bhanot is ECR Leverhulme Fellow at Leicester University. She wrote the landmark essay 'Decolonise not Diversify' in 2015. She has edited three short-story collections, including Too Asian, not Asian Enough and Book of Birmingham, and co-founded the Literature Must Fall collective and festival, with whom she organises reading groups and events. She is an editor with Media Diversified, for whom she curates essays under Literature Must Fall. Kavita is writing a book with Pluto Press on Literature Must Fall as a new paradigm for reading and writing and is co-editing, with Jeremy Tiang, an anthology on decolonising translation (Tilted Axis). Her translation of short stories by Anjali Kajal won a 2021 Pen Translates award and will be published by Comma Press (2022). She won third prize in the 2018 SI Leeds Literary Prize. For the last ten years she has been a reader and mentor with The Literary Consultancy, with whom she runs workshops for publishers on ethical editing.
Layla Benitez-James is a 2022 NEA fellow in translation and the author of God Suspected My Heart Was a Geode but He Had to Make Sure, selected by Major Jackson for Cave Canem’s 2017 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and published by Jai-Alai Books in Miami. Layla has served as the Director of Literary Outreach for the Unamuno Author Series in Madrid and is the editor of its poetry festival anthology, Desperate Literature. Poems and essays can be found at Black Femme Collective, Virginia Quarterly Review, Latino Book Review, Poetry London, Acentos Review, Hinchas de Poesia. Audio essays about translation are available at Asymptote Journal and book reviews of contemporary poetry collections can be found at Poetry Foundation's Harriet Books.
Kirsten Chapman is an Assistant Editor at Pushkin Press, working across literary fiction, non-fiction and crime in both translation and English-language originals. Prior to joining Pushkin Press, she was editorial assistant at The White Review. She has a BA in English from the University of Oxford and an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture from UCL.
Lúcia is a Brazilian-German translator and PhD candidate in Translation Studies at the University of Warwick. She specialises in Exophony in creative writing and translation, that is, writing literature in a foreign language and translation into and out of one’s mother tongue. She has special interest in the works of Yoko Tawada, having translated, among others, the novel Etüden im Schnee (2016) which was published in Brazil in 2019. Lúcia translates from Portuguese, German and Spanish and her PhD focuses on investigating linguistic gatekeeping practices in literary translation, especially when it comes to L2 translation. Research interests include: translation theory and practice, multilingualism, postcolonialism, contemporary and world literature, transnational literature and adaptation studies. Apart from her translation and academic work, she likes to swim, lift weights and play bass guitar in her spare time.
Onaiza Drabu is a Kashmiri anthropologist and writer. She co-curates a newsletter called Daak, on South Asian literature and art. Her first book, The Legend of Himal and Nagrai - Greatest Kashmiri Folktales was published by Speaking Tiger Books in 2019.
Jessica Gaitán Johannesson
Jessica Gaitán Johannesson is a Swedish/Colombian writer and climate justice activist based in Edinburgh, whose work focuses on the multiplicity of identity and belonging. Her debut novel How We Are Translated (2021) was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and her essay collection The Nerves and Their Endings: essays on crisis and response is published in August 2022. She was Wasafiri Magazine’s Writer-in-Residence for 2021-22, delivering workshops on writing and climate justice. She works as Digital Campaigns Manager for Lighthouse Books, Edinburgh’s radical bookshop, highlighting the meeting point, and frictions, between reading, writing and change-making.
Photo credit: Nicholas Herrmann
Kaiama L. Glover
Kaiama L. Glover is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French and Africana Studies and Faculty Director of the Digital Humanities Center at Barnard College, Columbia University. She has written extensively about Caribbean literature in such works as A Regarded Self: Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being and Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon, and she is the prize-winning translator of several works of Haitian prose fiction and francophone non-fiction. Her current projects include an intellectual biography titled “For the Love of Revolution: René Depestre and the Poetics of a Radical Life" and a translation of Yanhick Lahens's Douces déroutes. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and is the co-host of WRITING HOME | American Voices from the Caribbean.
Eluned Gramich is a writer and translator. Her memoir of her time in Hokkaido, Japan, Women Who Brings the Rain, won the inaugural New Welsh Writing Award in 2015 and was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year in 2016. Her most recent publication, Sleep Training, is a lockdown ghost story which won The Ghastling Novella Award 2020. She lives in Aberystwyth.
Katie Gramich is a translator and academic, specialising in the literature of Wales. Her most recent book is Flowers of War, a translation of Llŷr Lewis's novel, Rhyw Flodau Rhyfel, published by Parthian Books (2021).
Sawad Hussain is an Arabic translator and litterateur who is currently co-chair (with Rebecca DeWald) of the Translator's Association. She was co-editor of the Arabic-English portion of the award-winning Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014). Her translations have been recognised by the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, English PEN, the Anglo-Omani Society and the Palestine Book Awards, among others. She has run workshops introducing translation to students and adults under the auspices of Shadow Heroes, Africa Writes, the National Centre for Writing, the British Library, and Shubbak Festival. She has forthcoming translations from Fitzcarraldo Editions, Neem Tree Press, and Restless Books. She was recently Translator in Residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation and she holds an MA in Modern Arabic Literature from SOAS. Her Twitter handle is @sawadhussain. Her website is https://sawadhussain.com
Mona Kareem is the author of three poetry collections. She’s also a literary scholar and a translator between Arabic and English. She now lives in Boston and claims to like it up there. Mona is a recipient of a 2021 NEA literary grant, and a fellow at Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. Her most recent publication Femme Ghosts is a trilingual chapbook published by Publication Studio in Fall 2019. Her work has been translated into nine languages, and appear in LitHub, The Common, Brooklyn Rail, Michigan Quarterly, Fence, Ambit, Poetry London, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Poetry International, PEN English, Modern Poetry in Translation, Two Lines, and Specimen. Her translations include Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within (nominated for a BTBA award), Ra’ad Abdulqadir’s Except for this Unseen Thread (nominated for the Ghobash Banipal prize), and Octavia Butler’s Kindred.
Madhu H. Kaza
Born in Andhra Pradesh, India, Madhu H. Kaza is a writer, translator, artist, and educator based in New York City. A translator of Telugu women writers, including Volga and Vimala, her own writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Yale Review,
Guernica, EcoTheo Review, Chimurenga, Two Lines and more. She is the editor of Kitchen Table Translation, a volume that explores connections between migration and translation and which features immigrant, diasporic, and poc translators. More recently, she guest-curated a feature on writing from less-translated languages for the Summer/Fall 2022 issue of Gulf Coast, and in 2021 she served as a juror for the National Book Award in translated literature. She works as the Associate Director for Microcollege Programs for the Bard Prison Initiative and also teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University.
Eric Lane was born in North London in 1949. His father was English and his mother Italian. He studied Italian and Russian at Manchester University before training to be a lawyer. He founded Dedalus in1983 which he has run ever since with the help of his wife Marie. His son Timothy is the Europe editor and founder of the Young Dedalus list and his son Anthony is also a director. There are 4 translators on the Dedalus board; Mike Mitchell Life President who for many years was the Europe editor, Margaret Jull Costa chair, Jethro Soutar editor of Dedalus Africa and Sawad Hussain who joined the board in 2022. Dedalus specialises in original English-language fiction and European fiction in translation, both classic and contemporary from Europe and Africa. Dedalus is planning to begin Dedalus Latin America in 2023/24. High percentage of our translations have been suggested to us by translators.
Silvina López Medin
Silvina López Medin was born in Buenos Aires and lives in New York. She has published five books of poetry including La noche de los bueyes (Loewe Foundation International Young Poetry Prize), 62 brazadas (City of Buenos Aires Poetry Prize), That Salt on the Tongue to Say Mangrove (tr. Jasmine V. Bailey, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2021), and the chapbook Excursion, which was selected by Mary Jo Bang as the winner of the Oversound Chapbook Prize. Her hybrid poetry book Poem That Never Ends (2021) was a winner of the Essay Press-University of Washington Bothell Contest. She co-translated Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet and Home Movies, by Robert Hass, into Spanish. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn Rail, Harriet Books/Poetry Foundation, and MoMA/post, among others. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. She was a translations editor at Washington Square Review and is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse.
Yogesh Maitreya is a poet, translator, and a publisher at Panther's Paw Publication.
Nfor E. Njinyoh
Nfor E. Njinyoh is a translator and editor. He holds an M.A. in Translation from the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters (ASTI) in Buea. He is an alumnus of the Bakwa-Bristol Literary Translation Workshop and co-editor of the bilingual anthology Your Feet Will Lead You Where Your Heart Is/Le Crépuscule des âmes sœurs.
Barbara Ofosu-Somuah is an educational equity researcher, writer, and emerging Italian-to-English translator, from Accra, Ghana, and the Bronx, New York. As a translator, she attempts to bring the works of contemporary Afro-Italian writers to English-speaking audiences. She has received both Thomas J. Watson and Fulbright research fellowships to investigate the racialised lived experiences of Black people, primarily womxn, across the African diaspora. During her Fulbright year, collaborated with various Black Italian organisations/collectives as they unpacked the reality of concurrently embodying Blackness and Italianness in a culture that perceives both identities as incompatible. Ofosu-Somuah has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, psychology, and Italian, from Middlebury College.
Gitanjali Patel is an award-winning researcher and a Wolfson postgraduate scholar at the University of Birmingham, where her research focusses on translation as a critical pedagogy. She is also the director of Shadow Heroes, an organisation that supports young people in embracing all sides of their linguistic and cultural heritages through creative translation workshops.
Photo credit: Anna Michell
Award-winning poet, translator and editor, Keith Payne was John Broderick Writer in Residence 2020-21, and an Artist in the Community Awardee 2022 for his work with residents in Direct Provision. Collections include Broken Hill (Lapwing, Belfast, 2015); Six Galician Poets (Arc, 2016); Diary of Crosses Green, from the Galician of Martín Veiga (Francis Boutle, 2018), The Desert, from the Galician of María do Cebreiro (Shearsman, 2019) and Second Tongue, from the Galician of Yolanda Castaño (Shearsman 2020). He is co-editor of A Different Eden: Ecopoetry from Ireland and Galicia (Dedalus Press, 2021), curator of The Aodh Ruadh Ó'Domhnaill Poetry Exchange Ireland/Galicia and the PoemaRia International Festival of Poetry, Vigo. Keith was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Literary Bursary in 2022.
Photo credit: Javier Teniente
Dr Sofia Rehman
Dr Sofia Rehman is an independent scholar specialising in Islam and Gender, an author, and educator. She works primarily with classical Arabic texts. She is also Acquisitions and Editorial Executive at Neem Tree Press where she has focused on translated texts from a range of languages. During the global pandemic she launched the Islam and Gender read alongs in which she facilitates readings of academic texts by Muslim female scholars in conversation with a global audience and has been featured by Vogue Arabia, Refinery29 and The Independent. She is a contributor to Mapping Faith: Theologies of Migration and Cut From the Same Cloth?. She has publications due out with Oxford University Press and Kube Publications.
Hamid Roslan is the author of parsetreeforestfire (Ethos Books, 2019). His other work can be found in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Asymptote, minarets, the Practice Research and Tangential Activities (PR&TA) Journal, The Volta, Of Zoos, and the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, among others. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing at Pratt Institute.
Photo credit: Johannes Müller
Elisa Taber is a writer, literary translator, editor at Slug and Seven Stories Press, and PhD candidate at McGill University.
Sandra Tamele was born in Pemba, Mozambique. In the early 1980’s she moved with her parents to Maputo, where she is currently based. She has a degree in architecture from the Mozambican Eduardo Mondlane University and a diploma in translation from the UK’s Institute of Linguists Educational Trust. She speaks Portuguese, English, and Italian and is learning German, Mandarin and Mozambican Sign Language. She started translating in 2002 and in 2004 established SM Traduções, a language service provider. In 2007 she became the first Mozambican to translate and publish literature with her debut translation of Niccolò Ammaniti’s novel Io non ho paura into Portuguese. From 2010 she has engaged in initiatives to promote literary translation in Mozambique that has led to the annual Literary Translation Competition she has sponsored and organized since 2015. In 2018 Sandra established Editora Trinta Zero Nove, the first Mozambican independent press dedicated to publishing translation.
Applications for the 2022 Summer School are now CLOSED.
Please take a look at the Petra-E Framework to get an idea of the level of experience required to apply. The BCLT Summer School is suitable for translators that consider themselves Level 2 (Advanced Learner) or Level 3 (Early Career Professional).
Applications for the 2023 Summer School will open in January 2023.
Although we cannot offer bursaries to all participants, we always try to have a variety of full bursaries available.
Please note that if you receive a bursary you will be asked to write a short one-page report on your experience of the Summer School.
You can apply for more than one bursary – for example you could apply for a language-specific bursary and the BCLT or NCW bursary if you are eligible. To apply for a bursary you just need to complete the bursary section of the Summer School application form.
It's also worth investigating other sources of funding that might be available to you in your home country, such as Arts Council grants or funding provided by your relevant embassy, college or university.
Information regarding our 2023 bursaries will be available in January.
Bursaries available for the 2022 Summer School included:
Arabic - Full bursaries were available to ALL 10 participants on this workshop strand. These bursaries were kindly supported by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
BCMS - Up to 4 full bursaries were available for literary translators that are citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia or Serbia. These bursaries were kindly supported by the Translation in Motion project.
German - Full bursaries were available to ALL 10 participants on this workshop strand. These bursaries were kindly supported by Pro Helvetia.
Japanese - Full bursaries were available to ALL 10 participants on this workshop strand. These bursaries were kindly supported by the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University.
Literature from Taiwan - Full bursaries were available to ALL 10 participants on this workshop strand. These bursaries were kindly supported by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
Ukrainian - Full bursaries were available to ALL 10 participants on this workshop strand. These bursaries were kindly supported by the Ukrainian Institute and British Council Ukraine as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture.
BCLT Bursaries - British Centre for Literary Translation offered 2 full bursaries. These bursaries were open to translators that are on a low income or that specifically require some extra financial support. We wanted these bursaries to make it possible for two translators to attend that may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
The Nupur Bursary - This bursary, in memory of a dear friend of Seagull Books, was open to translators that specifically require some extra financial support. The funder wanted this bursary to make it possible for a translator to attend that may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
NCW Bursaries for UK-based Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse literary translators - The National Centre for Writing (NCW) offered up to 6 full bursaries for Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse UK-based literary translators, as part of their Visible Communities programme.
Translators Aloud Bursary - Translators Aloud offered 1 full bursary for a Black, Asian or Ethnically Diverse literary translator from anywhere in the world to attend the Summer School.
The Zzz Review Bursary - The Zzz Review offered 1 full bursary for a Vietnamese or South East Asian translator based anywhere in the world to attend the Multilingual Poetry / Multilingual Prose or Training the Trainer workshop strand.
There is a tick box on the application form for you to apply for a bursary. Please note that if you are given a bursary you will be asked to write a one-page report on your Summer School experience.
Here you'll find answers to questions you have, from experience needed to whether bursaries are available.
If you don't find the answer you're looking for please email us and we will respond as soon as possible.
Do I need to be an experienced literary translator to attend?
The answer is no you do not need to be an experienced literary translator to attend, although you do need to some have experience of translating. The Summer School attracts a wide variety of people from across the world with varied experiences. To give you an idea of our selection criteria we ask you to refer to the Petra-E framework of reference for the education and training of literary translators. The Summer School is aimed at translators in levels 2 and 3.
I have already published a translation, is the Summer School still relevant to me?
As the answer above stresses, the Summer School attracts a wide variety of people. Each person that attends will take something away from the week, whether it be knowledge of the industry, strategies for certain translation challenges, contacts, friends...the list goes on. Many published translators attend as it is a useful professional development opportunity.
If I apply am I guaranteed a place on the course?
The BCLT Summer School has been running for over 20 years and is a popular Summer School with a very good reputation. Therefore, some of our workshops can be oversubscribed. This is why we ask applicants to choose a first and second preference if that is possible for them and their interests. If a workshop is oversubscribed we work with the workshop leader to try to create a group that we feel will work well together based on the information from your application. We contact all applicants after the deadline to state whether your application has been successful. If you are offered a place, it is at that point that we will send you a link to book onto and pay for the course in full.
What do the literary translation workshops involve?
The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators and/or editors, working from a range of languages into English. During these sessions the participants work on a consensus translation of one particular text. In a majority of the workshops the author is present to talk about his or her work, answer questions and contribute to the translation process. The focus is on the process, rather than the end product. While each group is expected to come up with a consensus translation at the end of the week, it doesn’t really matter how much or how little text is actually translated. What is important is that, as a group, you really think about the possibilities, and engage with your workshop leader, author and one another in a creative, collaborative exercise.
For translators working from other languages, there is a multilingual poetry or multilingual prose workshop. These will be translating into English.
All the workshops are designed to encourage collaboration and peer learning.
What do the creative writing workshops involve?
The Tuesday and Thursday mornings begin with creative writing workshops for all delegates, developing different creative writing skills for translators. The whole cohort are divided between 4-8 tutors. These sessions are designed to help literary translators focus on themselves as creative writers and take a practical, exercise-based, rather than a theoretical approach.
What software and equipment will I need for the online Summer School?
We will be using Zoom and YouTube to deliver the Summer School. Before applying for the online event please consider the following:
- Is your internet connection reliable?
- Do you have a computer with a working camera, microphone and speaker?
- Will you be able to attend all of the sessions during the week?
Sessions will take place between 9.30am-5.30pm (British Summer Time) with evening social events from 7-9pm (British Summer Time). Please check how these times work within your time zone.
What times will the sessions take place?
The Summer School will run from Monday 18th-Friday 22nd July 2022. Sessions will take place between 9.30am-5.30pm (British Summer Time). Optional evening social events will run from 7-9pm (British Summer Time). We understand that working online can be tiring so there will be plenty of scheduled breaks.
This workshop strand is for experienced literary translators that have published work and would like to receive some training in leading literary translation workshops.
If you are successful in gaining a place, you will spend the summer school week shadowing our experienced workshop leaders. A workshop leader will also be running dedicated workshops for the Training the Trainer cohort along with some guest speakers. These workshops will address specific techniques, ideas and challenges when leading literary translation workshops.
The BCLT Summer School is run in partnership with the National Centre for Writing and is generously supported by a number of national and international sponsors. The 2022 Summer School was supported by the following partners:
The Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University
Ukrainian Institute and British Council Ukraine - The Ukrainian workshop is in partnership with the Ukrainian Institute and British Council Ukraine, as part of the programme UK/Ukraine Season of Culture
The British Croatian Society
The Zzz Review
The BCLT's International Literary Translation Summer School has been running since 2000 at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Throughout those years the Summer School has been invaluable for many literary translators for many different reasons, including professional development and networking. Here is some of the feedback we have received:
It went so well! I expected to have a good experience, but I was surprised by how smoothly everything ran via zoom. Technical difficulties were minimal and I really felt that I was working with people even though we were many time zones apart.
Danish workshop attendee, 2020
I found the online format a smooth and enjoyable experience. It was successful in replicating the main parts of the campus-based event. Once I had got over the initial unfamiliarity of working with other people who I had not met in person, I almost became unaware of the online environment.
Dutch workshop attendee, 2020
Being relatively new to the field of translation and particularly literary translation, I felt a little nervous before coming to the Summer School. I quickly came to learn that all the participants and instructors - regardless of their level of experience or chosen career path - were eager to share their advice, ideas and philosophies on translation, and equally willing to listen to my views.
The BCLT Summer School was, for me, an overwhelmingly positive experience and I would recommend it wholeheartedly to any budding or seasoned translator.
French workshop attendee, 2019
The hand's on translation sessions were very helpful, particularly when we moved into smaller groups. And the networking was fantastic - a few of us are already planning a co-translation project for September.
Italian workshop attendee, 2019
I feel re-energized, and ready to tackle the challenges of translating children's literature! I was given so much to think about this week and feel like I want to apply it right away. And if I run into snags (inevitable!) I know I have a wonderful support group to turn to.
Multilingual Prose workshop attendee, 2019
The workshop leaders for both creative writing and translation were fantastic, very encouraging and offering the perfect balance of structure and freedom. It was great meeting other translators, not just for the support network they form but also to learn about other people's projects and about exciting ways of exploring and showcasing translation.
Multilingual Poetry workshop attendee, 2017
It was a truly wonderful week, spending time with a diverse range of interesting people. The final presentations were genuinely moving as we were able to see how much high calibre work could be produced across many languages and styles in a very short space of time.
German workshop attendee, 2017
I learned to have confidence in what I've done and feel happy that I'm ready to start pitching my sample translations. I also picked up a few tips on publishers who might be interested in my project and grants available.
Multilingual Prose workshop attendee, 2017
It has inspired me to keep going and pursue a career in the field, to have the confidence to believe in my own writing.
German workshop attendee, 2016
Wonderful to meet so many translators and feel part of a community.
Multilingual Prose workshop attendee, 2016.
The workshops themselves were fantastic, but it was these unrepeatable chances to chat and hang out with like-minded aspiring linguists over breakfast, coffee, dinner and drinks, that made the Summer School such a valuable experience.
Daniel Bradley, Japanese workshop attendee, 2013.
I attended the BCLT Summer School as a participant in 2006.....It was a life-changing experience....Many of the people I met that week later helped me to get work, and vice versa.
Katy Derbyshire, German workshop attendee, 2006 - German workshop leader 2012 onwards.