Cairo missed its first-ever translation slam, which was cancelled because of clashes at the presidential palace, but PEN American has just announced the schedule for its World Voices Festival of International Literature (April 29 – May 5, 2013) and it includes, we think, the first Arabic translation slam:

PEN.banner.300x300.v2According to PEN American, the event will be hosted by Michael F. Moore, and has been a Fest favorite for six years running:

“this event delves into the change that happens when one text is translated into another. The battle plays out in an onstage Slam, wherein a poet reads from his or her work in its original language, followed by a translator who will choose English words to replace the original text. The translators are then tasked with defending these choices to the poet—and the audience.”

Participating poets include Jamaican poetry slammer Staceyann Chin and celebrated Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish.

May 3 at 8:30 p.m. Details and ticket-purchase here.

Also at this year’s fest, you’ll find “All That’s Left to You: Palestinian Writers in Conversation,” featuring Darwish, Randa Jarrar, and Adania Shibli, moderated by Judith Butler, May 4 at 3 p.m.

There are a number of other interesting events (a look at the McSweeney’s translation experiment, which I wrote about here; the issue of “bravery in poetry“; Susan Bernofsky on “how to be a translator“; literature of “multilinguality“; racism in the US prison system; a talk on money and translation; “Burma: Bones Will Crow”) and much more.

Full schedule at the PEN American website.

4 thoughts on “This Year’s PEN American Translation Slam to Feature Arabic Poetry

  1. are we supposed to cough up $20 to be near JB and get her barakat or something??

    1. Is it $20? Well, you could always say you need a comp ticket because you’re going to review the event for ArabLit.

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