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  • Event
  • USA

American Literary Translators Association(ALTA)

  • Event Code
  • Country
    USA
  • City
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Period
    10/05/2017 to 10/08/2017

Description

 The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea, President: Kim Seong-Kon, professor Emeritus at Seoul National University) was an official sponsor of this year’s 40th annual American Literary Translators’ Association (ALTA) Conference. This year’s conference took place from October 5 to 8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with LTI Korea hosting two sessions on Korean literature. ALTA will also run a one-year mentorship program for the translation of Korean literature between established professional translators and new translators.

 

 The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea, President: Kim Seong-Kon, professor Emeritus at Seoul National University) was an official sponsor of this year’s 40th annual American Literary Translators’ Association (ALTA) Conference. This year’s conference took place from October 5 to 8 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with LTI Korea hosting two sessions on Korean literature. ALTA will also run a one-year mentorship program for the translation of Korean literature between established professional translators and new translators.

 

 The Korean literature sessions took place at 9AM on October 6 and 2PM on October 7 in the Scandinavian Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The theme of the October 6 session was ‘Publishing and Promoting Korean Literature’, involving discussions between US publishers that have released English translations of Korean literature—Graywolf Press, Penguin Randomhouse, Columbia University Press, Autumn Hill Books, and Open Letter Books. All five participating groups published works of Korean literature this year, including ‘The Impossible Fairy Tale’ by Han Yujoo (April, Graywolf Press), ‘The Things You Can See Only when You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World’ by Haemin (April, Penguin) ‘Meeting with My Brother’ by Yi Mun-Yol (March, Columbia University Press), ‘<Nae Hyeoga Ipsogae Gacheo Itgil Geobuhandamyeon (If My Tongue Refuses to Stay Trapped in My Mouth)>’ by Kim Sun-Woo (Late 2017, Autumn Hill), and ‘A Greater Music’ by Bae Suah (January, Open Letter). Each publisher described aspects of strategies for promoting new works, like their selection processes, the major factors they consider for publication of book reviews, and the importance of working with local bookstores. The October 7 session was geared towards translators. Translators Sora Kim-Russell, Jake LeVine, Emily Yoon, and E.J. Koh led a discussion on the theme ‘Locating and Representing Gender in Korean Fiction and Poetry’. Kim-Russell is the translator of Kyung-sook Shin’s ‘I’ll Be Right There’, and Gong Ji-young’s ‘Our Happy Time’, and LeVine has translated poetry by Kim Haengsook, Kim Min Jeong, and Kim Yi-deum.

 

 The translator mentorship program brings together experienced professional translators and new translators who have little experience for a co-translation project. The program was established for the purpose of giving growth opportunities to up-and-coming talent who have not been able to access formal translation courses. The Korean mentorship program was offered for fiction and poetry, with Sora Kim-Russell (Professor at the Graduate School of Translation & Interpretation at Ehwa Womans University) mentoring the fiction translator and Don Mee Choi (US poet, exclusive translator of Kim Hye-soon’s poetry) for the poetry translators. Jeong min Comfort was selected for the fiction program, and translation team E.J. Koh and Marci Cancio-Bello were selected for the poetry program. The selected new translators will be mentored over the next year as they delve into their selected works of Korean literature, and will give readings of their translations at the reading event taking place next September during National Translation Month.

 

 The ALTA Awards ceremony and 40th anniversary banquet took place on the evening of October 7, where Lucien Stryk was awarded the translation prize. Although Korean literature was not given a prize this year, the fact that two of the three finalists were works by Korean poets played a large part in promoting Korean literature during the conference. The Korean finalists were Kim Yi-deum’s ‘Cheer Up Femme Fatale’ (Published December 2015 by Action Books) and Oh Sae-young’s ‘Night-sky Checker Board (Published May 2016 by Phoneme Media).

 

 LTI Korea’s official sponsorship opened up valuable opportunities for the promotion of Korean literature in the US, including the Korean literature sessions geared towards major US publishers and the translator mentorship program. This year’s event is expected to spur further discussion of Korean literature on the global stage.

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