2014 — 2015 Events

September 24, 2014 A Night with Naja Marie Aidt in Oakland

Naja Marie Aidt reads from her lauded book Baboon at one of Oakland's coolest indie bookstores. Aidt, who is a leading Scandinavian writer, and who received the Nordic Council Literary Prize for Baboon, reads from these tense, explosive, surreal stories.

Aidt is also joined on stage by translator and poet Denise Newman for a discussion of these uniquely powerful stories. Copies of Baboon will be available for purchase, and Aidt and Newman will be happy to sign.

  • September 24
  • 7:00 pm
  • Diesel: A Bookstore
  • 5433 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
  • FREE
Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
September 25, 2014 A Night with Naja Marie Aidt in San Francisco

Naja Marie Aidt reads from her lauded book Baboon at leading independent bookstore The Booksmith. Aidt, who is a leading Scandinavian writer, and who received the Nordic Council Literary Prize for Baboon, reads from these tense, explosive, surreal stories.

Aidt is also joined on stage by translator and poet Denise Newman and Two Lines Press's Scott Esposito, for a moderated discussion of these uniquely powerful stories. Copies of Baboon will be available for purchase, and Aidt and Newman will be happy to sign.

  • September 25
  • 7:30 pm
  • The Booksmith
  • 1644 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94117-2816
  • FREE
Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
October 9, 2014 Two Voices Salon with Ottilie Mulzet

Here's your chance to be part of a conversation with Ottilie Mulzet, winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award for her translation of Seiobo There Below, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

Skyping in all the way from Prague, Ottilie Mulzet will be talking about the amazing work she did with Krasznahorkai's über-intricate sentences, as well as talking about just what is going on in this astonishing book. She will also be talking about projects of Krasznahorkai's that she is currently working on, and which will be published in upcoming years.

Plus, you'll get a chance to meet other translator-lovers, hear about the latest new things in the world of translation, and have a beer or two on us!

It all happens at our offices at 582 Market St., Suite 700, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 9. Bring your copies of Seiobo, and your questions and observations about Krasznahorkai and Ottilie's work with his prose.

  • October 9
  • FREE
  • 6:00 pm
  • The Center for the Art of Translation
  • 582 Market St, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
October 15, 2014 Dark and Stormy: A Night of Contemporary Swedish Poetry

In conjunction with Litquake we present poet and translator Malena Mörling, reading from The Star By My Head, her striking new anthology of eight contemporary poets from Sweden (co-edited with Jonas Ellerström).

Including Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer, and published by Milkweed Editions in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, The Star By My Head is a fully bilingual guidebook to one of the richest and mostly starkly compelling poetic traditions. According to Ilya Kamisky it “will help us to see ourselves in a new way.”

Mörling will also be interviewed on-stage by poet, translator, UC Berkeley professor, and National Book Award– and Pulitzer Prize—winner Robert Hass.

It all takes place at Green Apple Books' brand new location at 1231 9th Avenue. Copies of the anthology will be on hand for sale and signing.

  • October 15
  • Green Apple Books on the Park
  • 1231 9th Avenue
  • 7:00 PM
  • FREE

Malena Mörling is the author of two collections of poems, Ocean Avenue and Astoria. She has received a Rona Jaffe Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Fellowship. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Robert Hass is the author of half a dozen collections of poetry, and is also the principle translator of the great Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, plus by Pablo Neruda. He received the National Book Award in 2007 for his poetry collection Time and Materials and the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for the same title.

Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
November 5, 2014 Join Paris Review Editor Lorin Stein and Two Voices for an Evening of Literary Experimentation!

As part of the Center for the Art of Translation's Two Voices event series, join Paris Review Editor Lorin Stein, translator Jan Steyn, and the Center’s Scott Esposito to explore the daring work of French writer Edouard Levé at San Francisco’s The Lab on Wednesday, November 5.

Written with a “strange combination of formal distance and emotional immediacy” (Slate), and filled with whimsy, dark humor, relentless experimentation, and crystalline prose, Levé’s books have become celebrated for their elegance, poetic beauty, and inventive ideas.

To delve into this remarkably original, diverse body of writing, we bring together two people with an intimate knowledge of Levé’s books—his English-language translators, Jan Steyn and Lorin Stein. They’ll be in conversation with the Center’s Scott Esposito, a certified Levé-ian and co-author of The End of Oulipo?

Levé’s book Autoportrait consists of a single, 100-page paragraph of observations about himself. His Works features 533 numbered ideas for artworks imagined by the author but never realized. The Guardian called it “a delight to read, so full of surprises, so many unexpected moments of laughter, reverie and delight.” And his final book, Suicide—handed into his publisher just days before Levé took his own life—is a look at the titular phenomenon unlike any other.

It all takes place at The Lab, one of the Bay Area’s top venues for innovative literary events. Have a drink and dive into Levé’s remarkably addictive prose.

  • The Lab
  • 2948 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
  • 7:00 pm
  • FREE
  • Cash bar, and copies of Levé’s books available for sale
Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
January 24, 2015 Special Screening of Language Matters documentary

What do we lose when a language dies? What does it take to save a language?

Language Matters broaches these enormous questions, traveling the world to learn about languages at risk and meet those advocating to save them. Director and producer David Grubin and poet and narrator Bob Holman will share film clips and be joined by local poets, musicians, and performers from Bay Area communities who are working to save their identities and language.

Presenters include Carolyn Melenani Kuali'i, Vincent Medina, M. Liko Puha, Alan Wallace, and native rock band Walan Amana, who will perform in the Nisenan language.

Presented by KQED, Cinema Arts in conjunction with KQED, Heyday Books, and Pacific Islanders in Communications. The screening will be followed by a reception sponsored by the Center.

  • Saturday, January 24
  • Exploratorium, Pier 15, San Francisco, Kanbar Forum
  • 2:30 pm (doors open at 2:00 pm, reception to follow)
  • FREE (*enter the museum through the historic Pier 15 entrance)

This event is almost at capacity--if you'd like to attend, email cinemaarts@exploratorium.edu

If you can't attend, the documentary will air on KQED Sunday, January 25, from 6:00-8:00 pm

January 27, 2015 Catalan Literature and Tapas!

Join renowned translators Peter Bush and Katherine Silver in a conversation about the work of Josep Pla, "the most celebrated Catalan writer of his generation". Enjoy FREE tantalizing tapas and famous paellas at San Francisco's B44 Catalan Bistro.

Bush's translation of Pla's masterpiece The Gray Notebook recently won the Ramon Llull award. The New York Times called The Gray Notebook "a vibrant testimony to the power of words..." Bush's translation of BItter Life will be released in April 2015. He has also translated dozens of books from Catalan, Spanish, and Portuguese, including work by Quim Monzo and Juan Carlos Onetti.

The Bay Area's own Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator and director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. She's translated some of the most important contemporary Spanish-language literature, including César Aira and Horacio Castellanos Moya. Her translation of Martín Adán’s The Cardboard House was runner-up for the PEN Translation Award in 2013.

  • January 27
  • B44 Catalan Bistro
  • 44 Belden Place, San Francisco
  • 5:00 pm (event begins at 5:30)
  • FREE (includes tapas!)
Contact: msatris@catranslation.org
February 17, 2015 Two Voices Salon with Greek Translator Karen Emmerich

On February 17 we'll host Karen Emmerich, the English-language’s pre-eminent Greek translator. A timely discussion considering recent events in Greece.

We’ll talk about Karen’s many translation projects, but the main topic will be her new title, The Scapegoat. Out February 3 from Melville House Books, it was written by Greek author Sofia Nikolaidou, who has never before been translated into English.

The Scapegoat is a potent novel about journalism, how history is recorded, and the situation in Greece today. From Melville House's description: "Based on the real story of famed CBS reporter George Polk—journalism’s prestigious Polk Awards were named after him—who was investigating embezzlement of U.S. aid by the right-wing Greek government, Nikolaidou’s novel is a sweeping saga that brings together the Greece of the post-war period with the current era, where the country finds itself facing turbulent political times once again"

As always, we’ll begin the conversation with the latest in translation, then move on to the main event.

* Tuesday, February 17
* Center for the Art of Translation office
* 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
* 6:00 – 7:00 pm
* FREE food and drinks

Be sure to read Emmerich's recent Huffington Post article on the situation in Greece, and let us know if you're coming.

Contact: sesposito@catranslation.org
March 11, 2015 Two Lines Launch Party

Come party in San Francisco’s coolest subterranean event space! Join the editors of Two Lines to celebrate our first full year as a biannual journal with a double launch party for issues 21 and 22.

Translators Daniel Levin Becker, Yael Segalowitz, and Andrea Lingenfelter will be on hand to give a sampling of the best international literature out of France, Israel, and Hong Kong. Plus,a special super-secret reading by Two Lines managing editor Jessica Sevey. Come find out what she picks!!

  • Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
  • Viracocha
  • 998 Valencia St., San Francisco
  • Doors open at 8 p.m., readings begin at 8:30 p.m.
  • Cash bar
  • Tickets at the door: $10 includes entry plus your choice of Two Lines 21 or 22; $15 includes entry plus BOTH issues.
  • RSVP here
March 19, 2015 Two Voices Salon with Ann Goldstein and Michael Reynolds

Join us on Thursday, March 19, to discuss the work of Elena Ferrante with two people who know her work very well: her English language translator and publisher.

Michael Reynolds, publisher of Europa Editions, and Ann Goldstein, literary translator and New Yorker editor, join us via Skype to talk about one of the hottest authors in translation.

The author writing as Elena Ferrante has become big news lately, as the first three books in her Neapolitan series have earned rave reviews—including from James Wood, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Vogue, and many others. Readers "have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship."

As always, we’ll begin the conversation with the latest and greatest in translation—please come prepared to let us know what you’ve been reading!

  • Thursday, March 19
  • Center for the Art of Translation office
  • 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Discussion: 6:00 – 7:00(ish) pm
  • Free food and drinks

Image from detail of The Story of a New Name, The Guardian

April 13, 2015 Yuri Herrera In Conversation with Daniel Alarcon

Two Voices welcomes Mexican writer Yuri Herrera in conversation with Bay Area author Daniel Alarcón at Green Apple Books on the Park. This is your chance to hear the author Francisco Goldman calls "Mexico's greatest novelist."

Translated by Lisa Dillman and published by And Other Stories, Signs Preceding the End of the World is Herrera's exploration of the complicated crossings people make as they move from one country to another, especially when there's no going back.

We’re especially excited about this event, since the latest issue of Two Lines includes an excerpt from the book.

Alarcón has said, "Signs Preceding the End of the World is a masterpiece, a haunting and moving allegory about violence and the culture built to support and celebrate that violence. Of the writers of my generation, the one I most admire is Yuri Herrera."

• Monday, April 13, 2015
• 7:30 PM
• Green Apple Books on the Park
• 1231 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970, Yuri Herrera received an MFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and a PhD from UC Berkeley. Signs Preceding the End of the World (Señales que precederán al fin del mundo) was shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos Prize and is being published in several languages. In 2013 he published La transmigración de los cuerpos, which will be published in English in 2016. He is currently teaching at Tulane University.

Daniel Alarcón’s books include War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. He is executive producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language narrative journalism podcast. In 2010 The New Yorker named him one of the Best 20 Writers Under 40, and his most recent novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award.

RSVP here!

May 11, 2015 "The Dream of My Return": Horacio Castellanos Moya and Katherine Silver

We welcome author Horacio Castellanos Moya and translator Katherine Silver to San Francisco to discuss Castellanos Moya's work, including his latest book, The Dream of My Return. The New York Times' Charles Finch called the book "easily his best to appear in English so far", and says "it has the intense aliveness of great fiction, the kind that gives human particularity to circumstances for which our sympathy might otherwise remain mostly notional." Silver translated The Dream of My Return and several others by the author. The Center's Executive Director Michael Holtmann will moderate the conversation.

  • Monday, May 11, 2015
  • 7:30 PM
  • Make Out Room
  • 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), San Francisco
  • FREE

Horacio Castellanos Moya is a writer and journalist from El Salvador. For two decades he worked as the editor of news agencies, magazines, and newspapers in Mexico, Guatemala, and his own country. He has published ten novels, five short story collections, and a book of essays. his novels have been translated into eleven languages; four of them (Senselessness, The She-Devil in the Mirror, Dance With Snakes, and Tyrant Memory) are available in English. Currently he teaches creative writing and media in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa.

Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator and director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Her translation of Martín Adán's The Cardboard House was a runner-up for the PEN Translation Prize in 2013. She has brought into English some of the most important contemporary Spanish-language literature, including authors César Aira, Martín Adán, Marcos Giralt Torrente, and many others.

In 2008 Two Voices interviewed Silver about Horacio Castellanos Moya.

photo credit Nina Subin

May 14, 2015 Two Voices Salon with Daniel Balderston

We'll talk via Skype with Daniel Balderston, translator of Silvina Ocampo's Thus Were Their Faces, a new release from NYRB Classics.

Thus Were Their Faces is a collection of Ocampo's short fiction. SIlvina Ocampo (1903-1993) was an Argentine writer "considered one of the twentieth century’s great masters of the story and the novella".

Daniel Balderston is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Pittsburgh, where he chairs the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures and directs the Borges Center. He is currently completing his seventh book on Borges, titled How Borges Wrote. He has edited numerous books, including Voice-Overs: Translation and Latin American Literature, and has also translated books by José Bianco, Juan Carlos Onetti, Sylvia Molloy, and Ricardo Piglia.

  • Thursday, May 14
  • Center for the Art of Translation office
  • 582 Market St. (at 2nd), Suite 700, San Francisco
  • 6:00-7:00 PM
  • FREE food and drinks
May 18, 2015 Author Mario Bellatin and Translator David Shook

Join Mexican novelist Mario Bellatin and poet and translator David Shook for a discussion of their writing and translation work.

  • Monday, May 18
  • 7:30 PM
  • Green Apple Books on the Park
  • 1231 9th Ave, San Francisco, 94122
  • FREE

Mario Bellatin is currently the director of the Dynamic School of Writers in Mexico City. Born in Mexico to Peruvian immigrants, he spent part of his childhood in Peru and studied film in Cuba. He is the author of several books, including Chinese Checkers, Beauty Salon, and Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction (translated by David Shook). Bellatin was quoted in the New York Times as saying, "To me literature is a game, a search for ways to break through borders. But in my work the rules of the game are always obvious, the guts are exposed, and you can see what is being cooked up.”

David Shook is a poet, translator, and filmmaker raised in Mexico City. His debut poetry collection Our Obsidian Tongues was longlisted for the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize, and his recent translations include work by Mario Bellatin, Tedi López Mills, and Víctor Terán. He is also editor of Molossus and Phoneme Media, and lives in Los Angeles.


photo Alfaguara

May 29, 2015 Cave of the Spider Women at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

We are pleased to co-present the showing of Cave of the Spider Women as part of the 2015 San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

The film's story comes from a classic of Chinese literature involving a pilgrim monk and his followers—monkey, pig, and shark spirit—who ward off the notorious Spider Queen. The film set 1927 box-office records but was considered lost until its recent discovery and restoration by the National Library of Norway. The director’s granddaughter will attend the screening.
Plus: Modern China (China, 1910, 8 m.)

Cave of the Spider Women features extraordinary views of life and landscape in Beijing, filmed during the last years of China's Qing dynasty, before the 1911 Xinhai Revolution overthrew imperial rule. The focus is on everyday life, and the views of hawkers, laborers, traders, and artisans reveal the city’s vibrant street culture.

Directed by Dan Duyu, China, 1927, 60 m. (Pan si dong)
With Yin Mingzhu, He Rongzhu, Dan Erchun

Live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin and Frank Bockius.
Donald Sosin scores silent films for major festivals, archives, and DVD recordings and is the resident accompanist at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Versatile percussionist Frank Bockius will join Sosin for this program.
Live narration of the Chinese/Norwegian intertitles by TBD performer

  • Friday, May 29
  • 1:00 pm
  • Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco
  • Ticket price: $16 general, $14 member

Tickets can be purchased here.

May 29, 2015 The Game For Real Book Launch

The Center and Two Lines Press welcome author and translator Benjamin Paloff to Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, California to celebrate the publication of his translation of The Game For Real by Richard Weiner.

The Game For Real is the first of Weiner’s books ever translated into English. Called “The Man of Pain” by the sci-fi author Karel Čapek (who popularized the word robot), Richard Weiner is one of European literature’s best-kept secrets. Often compared to both Robert Walser and Kafka, Weiner was a modernist who wrote with the Surrealists between World War I and II. Ignored during the communist era, Weiner's work was rediscovered and has attracted new fans since 1989.

Benjamin Paloff is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Michigan. He is the translator of several works of prose and poetry and the author of a book of poetry, The Politics. He is the recipient of fellowships from Poland’s Book Institute (2010), the National Endowment for the Arts (2009-2010), the Michigan Society of Fellows (2007-2010), and PEN America, and he was a poetry editor at the Boston Review for seven years.

Please join us for amazing Czech prose and drinks at one of the Bay Area's best bookstores!

  • Friday, May 29
  • 7:30 pm
  • Diesel, A Bookstore
  • 5433 College Ave., Oakland
  • FREE
June 25, 2015 The Game For Real New York City Launch

For our East Coast fans, we'll be hosting a New York City book launch event at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Ben Paloff will be joined by fellow Czech translator Alex Zucker to discuss Weiner's "complex, mystifying fictions."

Alex Zucker is a translator of Czech literature. He also works in editing and nonprofit communications, and currently serves as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee.


photo courtesy of University of Michigan