Institut Ramon LLull

British Centre for Literary Translation and Institut Ramon Llull join forces to train published Catalan-English literary translators

Literature.  04/11/2021

Following the international call for applications that closed last September, 12 experienced translators from Catalan into English were selected to take part in this advanced translation course. The online course will be directed by translator Peter Bush in collaboration with editor Sophie Lewis, and will run for three days, from Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 November 2021.

This 3-day Catalan-English literary translation workshop is designed to give published Catalan-English literary translators the opportunity to develop their skills further alongside their peers, as well as experts in the field.

The 12 translators selected are Jennifer Arnold, Anna Barlow Ferrater, H. J. Gardner, Cameron Griffiths, Tim Gutteridge, Riocárd Ó hOddail / Richard Huddleson, Dustin Langan, Samantha Mateo, Laura McGloughlin, Tiago Miller, Julia Sanches and James Thomas.

The participating translators will spend 3 days working as a group with experienced Catalan-English literary translator Peter Bush and renowned editor Sophie Lewis.

Sessions across the 3 days will include literary translation workshops, plenary sessions and networking events.

Public events

These are the 4 plenary sessions, that are open to the public (register now!):

Tuesday 9th November, 7-8pm (GMT)

Meet the World: Barcelona, written and translated

This Meet the World event will celebrate the recent publication of The Book of Barcelona, the latest in Comma Press’s city series. The city of Barcelona is a melting- pot of cultures and the stories in The Book of Barcelona tell its myriad truths.

This event, hosted by the National Centre for Writing, brings together two Catalan writers – Jordi Nopca and Carlota Gurt – with their translators, Mara Faye Lethem and Mary Ann Newman, to talk about their Barcelona stories, as well as their writing more generally and the translation process.

The event will be chaired by Erica Hesketh. It will be broadcast live online, with an opportunity for audience questions.

Wednesday 10th November, 3.30-4.30pm (GMT)

Translating Catalan Literature – A Publisher’s Perspective

Olivia Snaije (Chair), Katharina Bielenberg (MacLehose & Arcadia), Chad Post (Open Letter Books), Douglas Suttle (Fum d’Estampa Press) & Stefan Tobler (And Other Stories).

Author, journalist and editor Olivia Snaije will chair a discussion with UK and US publishers on the publishing of translated literature, with a particular focus on Catalan to English translation. Olivia will be joined by Katharina Bielenberg, Chad Post, Douglas Suttle and Stefan Tobler; all publishers with experience of publishing a variety of Catalan titles. What is the market like for translations from smaller languages, such as Catalan? How easy is it to source funding for such work? How do you find a suitable translator? These are just some of the questions we will cover, but there will also be an opportunity for you to ask your own questions at this live online event.

Wednesday 10th November, 7-8pm (GMT)

Catalan Women Writing Class 1918-1971

Leading Catalan novelists, Víctor Català, Mercè Rodoreda and Rosa Maria Arquimbau, made the role of class in Barcelona a central theme in major novels. Peter Bush introduces and reads from his translations of A Film: 3000 Meters (1918- 1921), In Diamond Square (1962) and Forty Lost Years (1971) in conversation with BCLT's Duncan Large.

Thursday 11th November, 3-4pm (GMT)

Catalan Poetry in English: An Unexpected Trend

Michael Schmidt (Carcanet Press) will chair a discussion with two Catalan poets and their English language translators. Manuel Forcano will be joined by his English translator Anna Crowe and Gemma Gorga will be joined by her English translator Sharon Dolin. Each of the poets and translators will read from their work in both Catalan and English.

Translation Workshop Faculty

Peter Bush’s first literary translation was Juan Goytisolo’s Forbidden Territory and he has translated eleven other books by this writer, including The Marx Family Saga and Exiled from Almost Everywhere. He has translated a number of classics: from Spanish, Fernando de Roja’s Celestina and Pedro Alarcón’s The Three-Cornered Hat; from Catalan, Mercè Rodoreda’s In Diamond Square, Joan Sales’ Uncertain Glory and Josep Pla’s The Gray Notebook, Life Embitters and Salt Water; from French, Balzac’s The Lily in the Valley and is now working on Proust’s The Guermantes Way. He has recently translated fiction by Najat El Hachmi, Quim Monzó, Teresa Solana and Jorge Carrión. He is a former Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

Sophie Lewis is an editor and a translator.

Previously Europe manager at Dalkey Archive Press and then senior editor at And Other Stories from 2011 to 2016, she was most recently managing editor at the Folio Society, from 2018 to 2020. She translates from French and Portuguese, and has translated Stendhal, Verne, Marcel Aymé, Violette Leduc, Emmanuelle Pagano, Colette Fellous, Leïla Slimani, Sheyla Smanioto and João Gilberto Noll, among others. In 2018 her translation of Noémi Lefebvre’s Blue Self-Portrait was shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff and Republic of Consciousness prizes. Her co-translation with Jennifer Higgins of Pagano’s Faces on the Tip of My Tongue was longlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize. In 2016, with Gitanjali Patel, she co-founded Shadow Heroes, a workshops series for students on critical thinking through translation. She continues to edit books freelance alongside translations.

Three partners

This event is run by the British Centre for Literary Translation in association with Institut Ramon Llull and the National Centre for Writing.

Sessions across the 3 days will include literary translation workshops, plenary sessions and networking events.

    Logo Institut Ramon Llull
  • A consortium of:

  • Generalitat de Catalunya Govern Illes Balears Ajuntament de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal 373, 08008 Barcelona
T. +34 93 467 8000 ·

Opening times: 8h- 15h, MON-FRI.
Registry office: 9h-14h, MON-FRI

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