Translators of literature coming to Ripton for conference

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College in June 2015 will welcome participants to the inaugural session of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, the first conference to highlight the important role that literary translators of poetry and prose play in the United States and beyond.
Modeled after Middlebury’s Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the new forum is also a natural complement to two other Middlebury programs, the Middlebury Language Schools and the Monterey Institute of International Studies translation programs. The intensive week-long conference is designed to provide training and community to beginning and experienced literary translators. The unique forum also aims to strengthen visibility and access to high quality literary translations in the U.S., and to recognize that translators require the same skills and expertise as writers.
“The role of the literary translator is often completely overlooked and yet it is a deeply important profession,” said Jennifer Grotz, director of the new conference. “The creation of this conference is a welcome acknowledgement that literary translation at its best is equivalent to creative writing in one’s native language and in fact plays a large part in enriching our own culture’s literature,” she added. A poet and literary translator, Grotz is also the program director for the Master of Arts in Literary Translation at the University of Rochester.
According to Grotz, the conference is for translators who want to improve their literary craft; for students mastering a foreign language who want to begin acquiring skills in the art of translation; for teachers interested in bringing the practice of literary translation into their classrooms; and for those who would like to learn more about and participate in the ever-growing community of literary translators.
Taking place June 1-7 at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, the new conference will feature faculty who are acclaimed and award-winning translators: Susan Bernofsky, Maureen Freeley, Bill Johnston, Don Share and Grotz. Established editors from literary journals and publishing houses will also attend and give presentations on the publishing trends and opportunities in literary translation.
The conference will incorporate the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model of small, focused, genre-based workshops coupled with readings, discussions, lectures, and classes focusing on the art of literary translation.
For more information on the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, including information about grants and scholarships, visit www.middlebury.edu/blwc/bltc.
The Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the oldest writers’ conference in the country, has taken place every summer since 1926 at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton. The conference remains one of America’s most respected literary institutions. Every August, more than 300 writers, students, faculty, literary agents and editors gather to participate in the conference, which offers two weeks of workshops, lectures, classes, and readings. A dynamic setting, the mountain campus has attracted many renowned literary figures such as Robert Frost, Carson McCullers, John Irving, Terry Tempest Williams, Ted Conover and Julia Alvarez.
In 2013, Middlebury and Orion magazine launched the Bread Loaf Orion Writers’ Conference, an intensive week-long program modeled on the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and designed for those who want to bring more depth of knowledge and understanding to their writing about the environment and the natural world. The Bread Loaf Orion Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference will take place concurrently at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus.

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