Translator in residence at the Vertalershuis Antwerpen

This past January, I was lucky enough to spend time in Antwerp as a translator in residence at the Vertalershuis, a beautiful haven for literary translators working on books by Flemish authors, sponsored by Flanders Literature. It was a wonderful opportunity to get away and spend more time with my current book translation, Het smelt by Lize Spit. I wrote a little post about my experience for their website. You can read it here in English and here in Dutch.

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ELV Zomercursus Literair Vertalen 2017

From August 21st to 25th, I had the tremendous pleasure of participating in the ELV Summer School for Literary Translation in Utrecht. This year, the week-long intensive course put the spotlight on three languages into which there is a growing demand for translated Dutch literature: French, Turkish and English. As English translators, we learned all about intertextuality, translator agency, and unravelling the layers of difficult texts in masterclasses with award-winning translators Susan Massotty, Sam Garrett and Michele Hutchinson.

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Translating The Chronicles

Other than translating, the best part about the festival for me was spending time with the authors and other translators. Meeting young writers who have been so successful, talking about their process, all of the risks they take, discovering that they too have a "little dictator" marching around in their head (see Blog 4) - it made the whole literary world feel within reach. We translators also got to involve them in what we do, discussing the challenges we face in not just translating, but actually re-writing their texts.

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Reflections: Drongo Talenfestival 2016

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Drongo Talenfestival in Utrecht. I thought to myself, well, tickets are only €10, I'll go have a look around. But I must say that it was much more than I expected! For a festival broadly focused on the many facets of the language industry in The Netherlands (an industry that can sometimes feel overly commercialized), I was really impressed by how informative and thought-provoking it was.

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Tolk- en Vertaalcongres 2016: Hilversum

At one point, a translator took the mic and encouraged the audience not to think of each other as competition, but rather as colleagues - that we are all in this together. I really took this to heart. Not only do I find friends in the people who love languages as much as I do, but I find that I can lean on them for support. We can pass each other projects, share insight, discuss "untranslateables" and roll our eyes at all the nonsense that is bouncing around out there in the translation world.

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Bookish Places Amsterdam

Back in 2010, before I knew anybody who lived in Amsterdam, I came here with my friend Michelle. She was on exchange at the University of Groningen and I was studying in Switzerland. It was an icy January, much icier than any winter the city has seen since. We skated across ice patches in the Vondel Park and wandered from shop to shop to get out the cold. Michelle was on a mission to visit Boekie Woekie, a Nine Streets book store specializing in one-of-a-kind books and zines made by artists. At the time, I was still printing editions of my first zine, Premature in Theory, and the store agreed to sell it...

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