R203. The Making of Originals: Translation as a Form of Editing

Room 200 F&G, Level 2
Thursday, April 9, 2015
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


When is translation a form of editing? For various reasons—multiple versions of texts, different standards in editing, needs of publishers—translators often find themselves in the position of revising and shaping the original text. Four translators discuss their experiences in rewriting and editing, collaborating with authors, and establishing definitive texts, and suggest approaches to producing a “new original.”



Susan Harris is the editorial director of Words Without Borders (www.wordswithoutborders.org) and the co-editor, with Ilya Kaminsky, of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.

Karen Emmerich is a translator of modern Greek poetry and prose. She has a PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University, and teaches at the University of Oregon.

Bill Johnston's translation of Polish writer Wieslaw Mysliwski's novel Stone Upon Stone won the PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Award in 2012. He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow, and he teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the United States in 2006. She is the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body. She has received the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize, among others.


Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the author of HeavenThe GroundWhen Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, and a translation of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth. He is the recipient of the 2013 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a 2013 Whiting Writers' Award, and the 2013 GLCA New Writers Award for poetry.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center