Thursday, May 14, 2009

Karen Emmerich at the Center for the Art of Translation

Click twice on the title above for a slide show of Ms. Emmerich speaking.

On 12 May 2009, friend Martha Hubert and I went to see Karen Emmerich at one of the Center for the Art of Translation's 12:30-1:30 events. She read from her translations of 20th century Greek writers, beginning with selections from I'D LIKE, described as "a collection of thirteen linked stories by Amanda Michalopoulou, in which the characters are brought together by the repetition of seemingly random details: blossoming almond trees, red berets, bleeding feet, and accidents both large and small." Then Ms. Emmerich read selections from translations in process -- a novel by "feminist writer Margarita Karapanou," and "short stories by Ersi Sotiropoulou, a controversial writer whose award-winning novel ZIG-ZAG THROUGH THE BITTER ORANGE TREES was recently removed from school libraries throughout Greece." She is also translating "nine short books by the experimental poet and art critic Eleni Vakalo, work for which she received a 2007 Translation Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts." She has received numerous other awards and teaches Greek and writing at Columbia University. Finally Ms. Emmerich she read from POEMS (1945-1971) by Miltos Sachtouris, for which she was "the first translator to receive a nomination for the National Book Critics' Circle Prize in Poetry." She described Sachtouris as never having recovered from the horrors of World War II so that his poetry has a searing and bloody imagery, reminiscent perhaps of Mayakovsky.

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