Bread Loaf 2017 Part I

Hi All! This week I am at the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, and it has been great so far. The workshops have been quite fruitful, as there is so much talent among the people I have worked with, and as is the nature of workshops I have learned as much from working with others on their texts as I have when getting feedback on my own work. Seeing the scope of approaches that others take has been an eye opener for me.

As an additional bonus that we have in the translators’ conference is that the Bread Loaf Orion Conference is being held co-currently, and so we are getting to hear from other people in an adjacent field. There are Bread Loafer readings every few days, and they are great because we are getting to hear from not only people reading translations, but the original works of people from the Orion conference. I myself read one of my poems at a reading yesterday.

I admit that I was scared to go up to that podium. Not so much because of the public speaking, which I’ve had some experience with, so the nerves weren’t too bad on that front. No, my issue was with what I was saying. My translations of Sor Juana’s work are like my babies. I’ve put a strong effort into every one of them, and I’m proud of how far they have come. That said, a workshop is a workshop and 90% of the time that one gets workshopped they end up wanting to spend the next few hours gutting everything. A translation workshop is a bit different than an original writing workshop, because I can’t gut a translation like I can gut a short story that has an over-extended peanut metaphor. So seeing as how I finished getting workshopped at 12:30, immediately went to lunch and then attended a lecture, I actually only had an hour and a half.

I think I made it work. This certainly isn’t the best I have ever done, but I’m proud of myself for having done so. In fact, as I had a little extra time left, once I finished reading the translation I read a short original poem that I wrote for a workshop a few years ago. I won’t share it here, because I hope to have it published in a poem collection someday. If it ever is, I’ll update this post with a link. 😘



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