Although less than 0.7% of all literary books published in the United States as works in translation, translation acts as a central way we experience other cultures: including Asian.Sinan Antoon, Fayre Makeig and Lucas Klein come together to read their translations of Asian heavyweights like Mahmoud Darwish and H.E. Sayeh and discuss the role of the translator in an English-speaking world.
Sinan Antoon, born in Baghdad to an Iraqi father and an American mother, emigrated to the United States after the Gulf war. A professor specializing in premodern Arabo-Islamic culture, he is a writer of poems, plays and essays, as well as a novelist. In 2004 he was nominated for the PEN Prize for translation for his cotranslation of Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry and his translation of Darwish’s last prose book is forthcoming publication. In 2003 he codirected a documentary,About Baghdad, about the lives of Iraqis in a post-Saddam-occupied Iraq. He has appeared on NPR, Al Jazeera English and The Charlie Rose Show.
Fayre Makeig is a professional writer, editor, and proofreader. Several of her poems are forthcoming in theWestern Humanities Review. Makeig received a PEN Prize for translation for her translation of Mourning (2006), a selection of free verse poems by H.E. Sayeh, an eminent contemporary Iranian poet whose life and work span many of Iran’s political, cultural and literary upheavals.
Lucas Klein, a former radio DJ and union organizer, is a writer, translator, and editor of CipherJournal.com. His translations, essays, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Two Lines, Jacket, and Drunken Boat, and he regularly reviews books for Rain Taxi and other venues. Soon to be Assistant Professor in the dept. of Chinese, Translation, & Linguistics at City University of Hong Kong, he is working on translations of Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin and contemporary poet Xi Chuan.
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Programs funded, in part, by the New York City Council for the Humanities and New York State Council on the Arts.
Program supported in part by the C.J. Huang Foundation