Sunday, November 27, 2011

ALTA Conference in Kansas City

A few weeks ago Jessica, Logan, and I packed the car up and drove 13 hours from Detroit down to Kansas City to attend the conference of the American Literary Translators Association. This is definitely my favorite conference and it was great to see some of our old friends and to meet new ones too.

While at the conference I recorded a few brief videos with several of the attendees and will be sharing them on this blog over the course of the next few weeks.

Usually when I go to the ALTA conference the highlight for me is attending the bilingual readings organized by Alexis Levitin, and this year was no different. My favorite session was the Germanic languages reading, particularly Emily Banwell's translation of a novel excerpt by Rayk Wieland and Roger Greenwald's hilarious reading of his translation of poems by Niels Frank. I would definitely recommend picking up Roger's translation from Book Thug.

An odd moment occurred when Open Letter Books publisher Chad Post and I were grabbing an early coffee before one of the sessions ended. A group of electricians (from another conference) walked by the coffee and treats table and, after noticing a sign mentioning that the snacks were for the ALTA conference, one man said "literary translators" in a disdainful tone one might use when referring to a group of people as "assholes!"

Not sure what that was all about.  

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