Everyone has heard of Pablo Neruda – not just fans of the original Spanish poems, but also readers who first encounter his work in English. How have certain writers come to be familiar names to diverse audiences, in different languages? What are some common challenges for translators presenting new Latin American poets in English – and/or bilingually – in the United States? Using Neruda as a case study to open up a more general conversation, seminar participants will look at an excerpt of his poetry through the eyes of one of the translators who helped to get Neruda’s work circulating in this country. Expanding on this example, participants will discuss brief commentaries about literary translation and publishing today. These supplementary readings introduce important practical points; they also showcase some key organizations that presently support the circulation of poetry from Latin America (and other parts of the world) in the United States.
Seminar led by Kristin Dykstra, Illinois State University