GAINED IN TRANSLATION: Sandra Cisneros and Liliana Valenzuela on the useful joys of translation for poets and translators

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Saturday, November 12th 10:00AM - 1:00PM 

Meeting will take place in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room, Rm 205; limit 12 students. Register here. 

For Sandra Cisneros, writing poetry is “the most private act I know.” How lucky, then, to have a co-conspirator in poet and Spanish language translator Liliana Valenzuela, who may be the closest reader of Cisneros’s work—she has translated novels, poems, stories, and essays by Cisneros—aside from the author herself.  Valenzuela called translating Cisneros’s poetry collection Woman Without Shame/Mujer sin vergüenza a “culmination” of their years-long collaboration.  Valenzuela has also translated some of her own poems and seen others translated by translator colleagues.  Using examples from both of their recent collections, Cisneros and Valenzuela will share surprising linguistic challenges as well as harmonic triumphs, explain the lyrical rewards bestowed on a text in one language as it is translated into another, show what can be learned about register, rhythm, meaning, and musicality through the practice of translation, and why sometimes a technically correct translation isn’t necessarily the most apt word choice when you’re looking for the duende of the poem.