On Errors: Reconsidering Accuracy and Authenticity in Translation, Sponsored by ALTA

Room 331, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, March 9, 2023
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


This panel focuses on errors in translation to raise urgent questions about race, class, power, and literary values. It will engage the fraught situation of heritage speakers who often feel shame when making translation mistakes. It will confront and redress dominant ideas of accuracy, authority, and authenticity. Diverse panelists will discuss navigating their own translation errors and/or their experiences teaching, editing, or mentoring emerging translators.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2023_Event_Outline_On_Errors.pdf



Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist writer, poet, and performance artist. She is the author of Swallow the Fish, Experiments in Joy, (ghost gestures), the déjà vu, and In & Out of Place. She has premiered over fifty performances artworks worldwide. The aim of her work is to open up space.

Sawako Nakayasu works at the intersection of writing, translation, and performance. Publications include Pink Waves (Omnidawn), Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From (Wave Books), and Say Translation Is Art (Ugly Duckling). She is as assistant professor in literary arts at Brown University.

Madhu H. Kaza is a writer, translator, and educator based in New York. She is the editor of Kitchen Table Translation, an anthology of writing by immigrant and diasporic translators. She directs the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library and teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University.

JD Pluecker is a writer, translator, artist. Their most recent translations are Writing with Caca, Gore Capitalism, and Antígona González, and they have published zines, chapbooks, and a book of poetry and image, Ford Over.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center