Maureen Freely was born in the United States but grew up in Turkey, where her family still lives. She was educated at Radcliffe College and has spent most of her adult life in England. A professor at the University of Warwick, she is currently the President of English PEN. She has translated or co-translated a number of Turkish memoirs, classics, and rising stars but is perhaps best known for her translations of five books by the Turkish novelist and Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk, and for her campaigning journalism after he and many other writers, scholars and activists were prosecuted for insulting Turkishness or the memory of Ataturk. Her sixth novel, Enlightenment (2007), covers some of the same ground. Her seventh, Sailing through Byzantium, takes place in Istanbul during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was named one of the best novels of 2013 in the (London) Sunday Times.
Jennifer Grotz, Director of the Conference, is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open (2016). Psalms of All My Days, translations from the French poet Patrice de La Tour du Pin, appeared from Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2014. Rochester Knockings, by the Tunisian novelist Hubert Haddad, appeared in 2015 from Open Letter. Her current work in progress is a co-translation with Piotr Sommer of a selected poems from the Polish of Jerzy Ficowski. Some of the poems from that collection have recently appeared in New York Review of Books, Poetry, Parnassus, Ploughshares, and The Nation. A 2015 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, she teaches poetry and translation at the University of Rochester, where she also serves as program director for the Masters in the Art of Literary Translation.
Suzanne Jill Levine’s recent translation Mundo Cruel: Stories (by Luis Negron) won the 2014 Lambda Prize for Fiction. Translator of Latin American writers such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Manuel Puig, Julio Cortazar, Jose Donoso, Severo Sarduy, Silvina Ocampo and Bioy Casares, Levine is the director of Translation Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she is a distinguished professor in the department of Spanish & Portuguese. For her work as a creative translator and literary critic she has received numerous honors including PEN awards most recently in 2012 (for her translation The Lizard’s Tale by Jose Donoso), National Endowment Arts and Humanities grants, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. She is the author of several books including The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction (1991) and the literary biography Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions (2000). She also served as general editor of the paperback series of Jorge Luis Borges’ poetry and essays for Penguin Classics (2010).
Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many edited volumes and books of translations; and five works of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain. His latest prose book, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, chronicles travels in Malaysia, China and Mongolia, and the Middle East. His writings have been translated into nearly forty languages; his journalism appears widely; his honors include a Chevalier from the French government in the Order of Arts and Letters. As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and in 2012 President Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities.
Idra Novey is the author of the novel Ways to Disappear, a New York Times Editors' Choice and a finalist for the Eagles Prize. Her second book of poetry, Exit Civilian, was selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series and her most recent translation is Clarice Lispector's novel The Passion According to G.H. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into eight languages and she's written for the New York Times, New York Magazine, and NPR's All Things Considered.
Our 2017 Guests Include:
Tynan Kogane, Editor, New Directions
Carolyn Kuebler, Editor, New England Review
Fiona McCrae, Publisher, Graywolf Press
Chad W. Post, Publisher, Open Letter
Olivia E. Sears, Founder, Center for the Art of Translation and Two Lines
Michael Wiegers, Executive Editor, Copper Canyon Press
Michael Z. Wise, Cofounder, New Vessel Press