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Center For Literary Translation San Francisco


The Center for the Art of Translation champions literary translation. We are dedicated to finding dazzling new, overlooked, and underrepresented voices, brought into English by the best translators, and to celebrating the art of translation. Our publications, events, and educational programming enrich the library of vital literary works, nurture and promote the work of translators, build audiences for literature in translation, and honor the incredible linguistic and cultural diversity of our schools and our world.




center for literary translation san francisco



To this end, we employ well-published and well-recognized faculty to teach in our undergraduate, masters and masters of fine arts program, in which they guide students in the production and revision of their craft in creative nonfiction, fiction, playwriting, poetry and literary translation. By studying elements of craft, process, vision and revision, we prepare our students to become practicing creative writers and often teachers, professors, editors, publishers, translators and arts organization professionals as well. We wish to instill confidence in them to remain in the field and continue their commitment and contribution to the literary arts.


The translation of literary and philosophical texts; modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and fiction; Modernism and the international avant-garde; Taiwan studies; comparative literature studies; translation studies.


The MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa hosts two Translators in Residence, one each semester, who live and write for five weeks in Iowa City, teach a translation workshop at graduate or undergraduate level, and mentor students on the practice and profession of literary translation.


The translation workshops are mixed-genre and multilingual, with students translating into English from diverse languages--ranging in a given semester anywhere form five to over ten languages. While the Translator in Residence can translate from any language and work with any genre, successful experience with such a multilingual learning setting is highly desirable. Equally desirable is a record of professional accomplishments as a literary translator, including notable publications, awards and other recognition.


Lisa Katz's translations include Late Beauty: a bilingual selection of the poetry of Tuvia Ruebner, (with S. Bram) Zephyr Press (2017); Suddenly the Sight of War: nationalism and violence in Hebrew poetry of the 1940s by Hannan Hever,Stanford (2016); Approaching You in English: a bilingual selection of the poetry of Admiel Kosman (with S. Naim-Naor) Zephyr (2011); Look There: New and Selected Poems of Agi Mishol Graywolf (2006). Editor of the Israeli pages of the Poetry International Rotterdam web site for world poetry, her translations have appeared recently in Poetry, MPT, Guernica,Consequence, World Literature in Translation and the New York Times. She is the author of a chapbook, Are You With Me, Finishing Line (2016) and Reconstruction, a volume of her poetry in Hebrew translation, Am Oved (2008); also in 2008, she was awarded the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize and a Ledig House International Writers Residency. Katz taught literary translation at Hebrew University for a decade and most recently at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Spring 2017. Born in New York, she studied at the University of Michigan (BA English) and the City College of New York (MA Creative Writing), receiving a PhD (on the poetry of Sylvia Plath) from the English Department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she has lived since 1983.


Students interested in this program must submit, via Cal State Apply a meaningful sample of their writing (15 to 20 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, or 15 to 20 pages of literary translation, or a full-length stage play or two short plays, or 15 to 20 poems), two letters of recommendation, and transcripts. All application materials are to be uploaded by February 15 for consideration for our entry scholarships, or by May 10th for admission to the following fall semester.


The Center for the Art of Translation is committed to giving voice to great world literature by publishing fresh English translations alongside the original language text--the writer's own words. Through literary and educational programs that support translation, we seek to promote world literature--with its power to move, inform, and inspire--and provide a window into the cultures that produce it.


Born in New York City, Jascha Kessler (Ph.D., Litt.D.) has received varied research grants, prizes, and writing fellowships since 1952 when he won a Major Hopwood Award for Poetry (University of Michigan). They include the NEA Fellowship in Writing, two Senior Fulbright Awards to Italy and one to Czechoslovakia. Since 1961, he has been a Professor of English & Modern Literature at UCLA, also teaching poetry, fiction, and playwrighting. In 1979, Mr. Kessler was a Rockefeller Fellow and worked at the Bellagio Study Center, completing his translation (with Amin Banani) of the Persian poet Forugh Farrokhzad: BRIDE OF ACACIAS: THE POETRY OF FORUGH FARROKHZAD (Caravan Books, Delmar, NY: 1983). He won a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction Writing for 1993-1994. He reviewed fiction and poetry weekly, theater and events on the air for KUSC-FM (Los Angeles) for 5 years in the 1980s; several dozen of his reviews, both broadcast and published in magazines and papers since the 1960s, have been anthologized in CONTEMPORARY LITERARY CRITICISM (Gale Research) over the decades. His literary essays have appeared widely. He also served as Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica, California, from 1990-1996.


Imagine: A writing program that values writers and writing from across the globe, providing literary translation workshops, panel discussions, and lectures that are open to all students, regardless of foreign language expertise. The VCFA International Center for Literary Translation, housed within the MFA in Writing program, is unique among low-residency programs. 350c69d7ab


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