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Manchester in Translation

February 22 - February 24

This February, Comma Press will host a series of free online workshops and talks offering advice and insight into the world of translation. The third instalment of Manchester in Translation will be an opportunity for budding translators – or those with a passion for languages – in the North of England to develop practical skills for literary translation, learn about the intersection between writing and translation, and consider translation as a political tool.

The online conference will run over three days from the 22nd to the 24th of February and will include a keynote from award-winning translator of Spanish-English, Lawrence Schimel, two panel events and three workshops focusing on literary translation from Portuguese, Turkish and French into English.

The keynote and panel events will run from 11am-12pm each morning, and the workshops will run from 2-4.30pm each afternoon. The keynote and panel events will be available to playback after the live broadcasts.

See especially this panel featuring ArabLit contributor Katharine Halls:

Day 2 – Wednesday 23 February

11-12pm | Panel 1 Fight Between the Lines: Translation as Literary Activism

Live from the Comma Press YouTube channel. Book now.

While opening doors across languages, can translated texts be a tool for societal transformation? From words untouched to the radical manipulation of texts, translation is an intrinsically activist act. This panel discusses the role of the translator and how, with the help of the wider industry, we can carve out new spaces for literary expression as a form of resistance.

Katharine Halls is an Arabic-to-English translator from Cardiff, Wales. She was awarded a 2021 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant to translate Haytham El-Wardany’s short story collection Things That Can’t Be Fixed. Her translations for the stage have been performed at the Royal Court and the Edinburgh Festival.

Alex Valente (he/him) is a white European currently living on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ land. He is a literary translator from Italian into English, though he also dabbles with French and RPGs, and is co-editor of The Norwich Radical. His work has been published in NYT Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, The Short Story Project, and PEN Transmissions.

Alireza Abiz is an Iranian poet, literary critic and translator. He has written extensively on Persian contemporary literature and culture. His book Censorship of Literature in Post-Revolutionary Iran: Politics and Culture since 1979 was published by Bloomsbury in 2020. He has published five collections of poetry in Persian, including London Underground (winner of the 2018 Shamlou Poetry Award) and has translated the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Basil Bunting, Derek Walcott, Allen Ginsberg, C.K. Williams and others into Persian. He has also worked as a journalist and editor, and is currently trustee of the Poetry Translation Centre.