A translation in Doublespeak

Given current events, it feels strange to be doing self-promotion, but I can’t resist sharing my translation of a troubadour lyric (Domna, tant vos ai prejada, by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras) in the June 2020 issue of Doublespeak, the premier journal of literary translations at the University of Pennsylvania.

Doublespeak is always beautifully designed and meticulously edited, with excellent translations and thoughtful translators’ notes … but this time they have outdone themselves with an extraordinarily diverse array of source languages, including Chinese, Persian, Hebrew, Thai, Arabic, Korean, and Sinhalese.

There is also a video recording of this issue’s launch party, in which the staff members introduce themselves and a number of the contributors read aloud from their translations. My reading starts around 45:22 and ends toward 50:00, but if you have time, I’d suggest watching the entire clip. Starting around 18:00, Jianing Zhao gives a particularly impressive bilingual reading of an unfinished poem by Mayakovsky.

*The fields of poetry, literary translation, and publishing tend to be overwhelmingly white, but many of the contributors to and editors at Doublespeak are women of color—including the Editor-in-Chief, Rhosean Asmah, who writes:

There is no better way to fulfill translation’s ability to connect and teach than to translate and publish women, people of color, and speakers of minority languages in greater numbers alongside those who have traditionally been treated with more importance.

Rhosean Asmah, editor’s note to Doublespeak June 2020

These are the next generation of publishers, literary translators, and poets. I am honored to be appearing in their company.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s