Found in Translation: Translation as an autonomous creative practice

  • DATE

    24 February 2022

  • TIME

    11:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Is translation a form of creative writing?

Does the act of translation have the potential to strengthen, support and ultimately expand the creative writing process? Can tackling the creative challenges posed by translating texts expand the parameters of a writer’s work? This panel features literary translators who are also writers, poets and publishers, and asks how being a translator can ultimately inform their creative practice.

Saskia Vogel is an author and translator from Los Angeles, now living in Berlin. Permission (2019), her debut novel about love, loss and BDSM, was published in five languages. She was awarded the 2021 Berlin Senate Grant for Non-German-language Literature for her writing and was a Pen America Translation Award Finalist for her translation of Jessica Schiefaur’s Girls Lost. Aednan by Linnea Axelsson, forthcoming with Knopf in 2023, is the focus of her work as Princeton University’s Fall 2022 Translator in Residence. Her recent translations include Johanne Lykke Holm’s Strega, Karolina Ramqvist’s Bear Woman, and Steve Sem-Sandberg’s W. Previously she worked as Granta magazine’s global publicist and as an editor at the AVN Media Network.

Meena Kandasamy is an anti-caste activist, poet, novelist and translator. As a translator, she has translated the speeches and essays of Dravidian ideologue Periyar EV Ramasamy and Dalit leader Thol. Thirumavalavan on caste annihilation, women’s liberation and social justice. She has also translated the poetry of Tamil guerrillas and contemporary feminists. Her translation of Tamil novelist Salma’s Manamiyangal (Women Dreaming, Tilted Axis, 2020) won a PEN Translates Award. Her feminist translation of the Inbathupaal (The Book of Desire) from the Thirukkural is forthcoming. Follow her on Twitter @meenakandasamy

Jen Calleja is a writer, literary translator and publisher. Her recent publications include the story collection I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype) and the pamphlet essay Goblins (Rough Trade Books). Her writing has appeared in Best British Short Stories 2021 (Salt), The White Review, Ambit, The London Magazine, and elsewhere, and she writes a column on translation for the Brixton Review of Books. Jen was the inaugural Translator in Residence at the British Library and was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize 2018 for her translations from German. Alongside Kat Storace, Jen is co-publisher at Praspar Press, a micro-press for Maltese literature in English and in English translation.

This event is part of Manchester in Translation by Comma Press.