This Valley of Death is Not My Country: Poems by Nabarun Bhattacharya Translated from the Bengali by Somrita Urni Ganguly

Today, we’re excited to share the fiery poem This Valley of Death is Not My Country by the revolutionary Bengali poetNabarun Bhattacharya translated by the award-winning Somrita Urni Ganguly. In this poem, tand through his audacious metaphors, fiery rhetoric, and studied images, Bhattacharya recreates the dream of a world without state-sponsored violence, a socially just world, one where there is freedom, equality, and dignity for all. We just know you’ll be inspired by it, so we’re happy to bring it to you.

We’d love to hear what you think! Find us on Twitter @TranslateMonth, tag us using #NTM2019 and #TranslateMonth, join our mailing list, submit a translation month event, or like our Facebook page. And celebrate your favorite translations from all over the world this September and beyond.

Click HERE to read This Valley of Death is Not My Country: Poems by Nabarun Bhattacharya Translated from the Bengali by Somrita Urni Ganguly

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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Say Wallahi An excerpt from Ubah Cristina Ali Farah’s Il comandante del fiume Translated from the Italian by Hope Campbell Gustafson

We’re excited to share with you today the work of another 2019 PEN Heim Translation Grant winner, Hope Campbell Gustafson, for her impressive translation of the novel Il comandante del fiume by the award-winning author of Italian-Somali descent, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah. This powerful novel is the coming-of-age story of the teenager Yabar, and it deals with war, colonialism, terrorism, racism, Islam, relationships, trauma, memory, as well as the movement and mixing of people and cultures and languages. And a street mural in London, with its haunting eyes of a young migrant, is the perfect accompaniment for the text.

This is a compelling read that we hope will transport you into a new world. Tell us what you think using @TranslateMonth and #TranslationMonth!

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

Click HERE to read Say Wallahi An excerpt from Ubah Cristina Ali Farah’s Il comandante del fiume Translated from the Italian by Hope Campbell Gustafson

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The World’s Greatest Barber: An Excerpt from Curl by T. O. Bobe Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter

We’re thrilled to share with you today an excerpt from the collection Curl (Wakefield Press, 2019) by the award-winning poet, novelist, and screenwriter T.O. Bobe, translated from the Romanian by the accomplished Sean Cotter. The central character in Curl is Mr. Gică, the world’s greatest barber, and possibly the loneliest. His shop is a world populated by opera singers, football players, gladiators, the secret police, fantasies of Edith Piaf, four lost hippies, and other ludic figures. We hope you’ll like it as much as we did. Check out the book

We’d love to hear from you: find us on twitter @TranslateMonth, share using #NTM2019 and #TranslateMonth2019, join our mailing list, submit a translation month event, or like our Facebook page. We hope you’ll join us and celebrate your favorite translations throughout September.

Click HERE to read The World’s Greatest Barber: An Excerpt from Curl by T. O. Bobe Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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My words would flutter above the mountains: Poems by Matilda Olkin Translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vincė

Today, we’re excited to feature a beautiful selection of poems by Matilda Olkin translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vincė. Matilda (Masle) Olkin was a young, gifted poet who was shot and killed by the Nazis along with her entire family in 1941 when she was only 19 years old. The story behind the recovery of her poems and diary is as astonishing as the poems themselves, and Laima Vincė gives a moving account in her translator note. Olkin’s father had managed to pass on her notebook of poems and diary to a priest friend who hid them under the altar of the church before being exiled to Siberia by the Soviets. Upon his return, he passed on the diary and poems to his organist, who brought them for safekeeping to the literary critic Dr. Irena Veisaite, herself a Holocaust survivor. In 2019, The Lithuanian Institute of Literature and Folklore is publishing the illustrated hardcover book that includes an essay on the life and poetry of Matilda Olkin, Matilda’s diary, and Matilda’s poems. The publication of Matilda’s book in Lithuanian was ENTIRELY FUNDED by donations from Lithuanian people who believe strongly in healing the wounds of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

We’re very happy to share with you these new gems that have travelled such a long way to get here. Accompanying the poems are Vincė’s luminous paintings inspired by Lithuanian myths and symbols. Tell us what you think using @TranslateMonth and #NTM2018!

Click HERE to read My words would flutter above the mountains: Poems by Matilda Olkin Translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vincė

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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National Translation Month Premiere: An Excerpt from the Award-Winning Novel One Left by Kim Sum Translated from the Korean by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton

In this installment, we’re excited to share another NTM premiere: a moving and harrowing excerpt from the novel One Left by Kim Sum, translated from the Korean by the powerhouse duo Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. The novel tells the stories of Korean “comfort women,” in fact young girls (their average age was 16; some were as young as 12) forced into sexual servitude for the Japanese military forces during WWII, serving an estimated 15 to 50 men a day. Only 20,000 of these “comfort women” are thought to have survived and made it back to Korea after the war. And only a few told their horrific stories of trauma and abuse to author Kim Sum who researched and gathered testimonies for her novel Han myŏng (literally “one person,” in translation One Left). The first Korean novel devoted exclusively to the subject of the comfort women, it was published in Seoul, Korea, in 2016.

The translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton have received several awards and fellowships for their work, including two National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships and a residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, the first ever awarded for translators from any Asian language. For their translation of One Left, Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton received an America PEN Heim Translation Grant, only the second such award for a Korean project.

We hope you’ll enjoy this terrific excerpt as much as we did. Let us know what you think using #TranslationMonth. Happy National Translation Month and happy reading!

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

Click HERE to read An Excerpt from the Award-Winning Novel One Left by Kim Sum Translated from the Korean by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton

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A Fantastical Traffic Jam by Akram Aylisli (Excerpt) Translated from the Russian by Katherine E. Young

We’re thrilled to share with you today an excerpt from the novella A Fantastical Traffic Jam by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli, translated from the Russian by the award-winning poet and translator Katherine E. Young. In her own words, “Many knowledgeable observers, including Aylisli himself, believe it was this novella that provoked the wrath of Azerbaijan’s current rulers and led to Aylisli’s persecution. He currently lives under de facto house arrest; his books have been burned, his wife and son were fired from their jobs, and at one time a bounty was offered to whomever would cut off his ear.” At NTM, we take pride in publishing brave works that speak truth to power, and this excerpt accomplishes exactly that.

This is a funny, compelling read that we hope will transport you into a new world that bears somewhat of a resemblance to contemporary Azerbaijan. Happy National Translation Month
and happy reading!

Click HERE to read A Fantastical Traffic Jam by Akram Aylisli (Excerpt) Translated from the Russian by Katherine E. Young

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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Past starshine, star signs, planets: 4 Russian poets translated by Basil Lvoff

We are delighted to present today new translations of poems by Evgeny Baratynsky, Fyodor Tyutchev, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsvetaeva translated by Basil Lvoff who also included notes on the process and challenges encountered. We hope you’ll enjoy this selection of Russian classics as much as we did.

We’d love to hear what you think! National Translation Month is a great community with over 6,000 fans across all social media, and growing. Find us on Twitter @TranslateMonth, tag us using #NTM2019 and #TranslateMonth2019, join our mailing list, submit a translation month event, or like our Facebook page. And celebrate your favorite poets in translation this September and beyond.

Click HERE to read Past starshine, star signs, planets: 4 Russian poets translated by Basil Lvoff

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore: Poems by Sylvie Kandé Translated by Alexander Dickow

In this installment, we’re happy to share a new selection of poems by Sylvie Kandé, an award-winning French poet and scholar, translated by the accomplished poet and translator Alexander Dickow, winner of the 2018 PEN/Heim Translation Grant. We loved the richness of language and imagery in these unforgettable poems, and we hope they’ll become your new favorites.

Speaking of favorites, our favorite thing to do in September is celebrate translations. There are thousands of ways to celebrate #NTM2019. We’ve developed this list of 30 ways to celebrate NTM to get you started, but we’re open to suggestions and encourage you to find your own way to celebrate. You don’t need our permission to celebrate, just as you don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate Black History Month, or National Ice Cream Month in July.

We’d love to hear from you! If you think of a way to celebrate National Translation Month in 2018, email us at info@nationaltranslationmonth.org. We’re always open to any collaboration ideas. Find us on Twitter @TranslateMonth, tag us using #NTM2019 and #TranslateMonth2019, join our mailing list, submit a translation month event, or like our Facebook page. And, most importantly, celebrate your favorite authors in translation this September and all year round.

Click HERE to read The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore: Poems by Sylvie Kandé Translated by Alexander Dickow .

—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman

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