Jan. 12, 2018
Michelle Gil-Montero, assistant professor of English at Saint Vincent College, will be interviewed as part of a series of core conversations at the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Carnegie Mellon University at the Trust Arts Education Center, 807 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh. The session at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 4 is entitled, “The Books You Are Missing: The Importance of Literary Translation.” This event is a Core Conversation at the 2018 Pittsburgh Humanities Festival.
According to the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations, only about three percent of all books published in English are translations from foreign languages. An inordinate number of important literary texts are not making their way into American readers’ hands. There are, of course, a number of reasons for this – from the political to the practical.
Lauren Shapiro, assistant professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, will interview writer, poet and translator Gil-Montero. The discussion will focus on the current climate in America with regard to literary translation as well as the pleasures and difficulties of the task itself.
Gil-Montero translates contemporary Latin-American poetry, fiction and criticism, including Poetry after the Invention of América: Don't Light the Flower by Chilean poet Andrés Ajens. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English at Brown University and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she studied on a Dean's Merit Scholarship. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, Howard Foundation, PEN, NEA and others Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Words Without Border, Hudson Review and Jacket, as well as in the anthology The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry.
Shaprio is interested in exploring the absurdity of contemporary American culture as it is lived by the individual, specifically the juxtaposition of reality television- and celebrity-infused lives with more pressing social and political concerns. She is the author of a collection of poetry, Easy Math, which was the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Debut-litzer Prize for Poetry, as well as a chapbook of poems, Yo-Yo Logic. She primarily teaches courses in poetry, but other interests include creative nonfiction, literary translation and publishing. She has translated poetry and fiction from Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese and Arabic into English; her current focus is on the work of several contemporary Latin American poets.
Further information about the interview and the festival are available at trustarts.org or by phoning the box office at 412-456-6666.
Photo: Michelle Gil-Montero
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