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> 09.03.13 translating to / from english / french

The McNally Jackson bookstore, the MA in French literary translation at NYU, and Double Change present

Translating to / from English / French

An English and French bilingual reading featuring Charles Bernstein, Marjorie Welish, Richard Sieburth (reading Louise Labé) and David Georgi (reading François Villon)… as well as translations of French contemporary poets Frédéric Boyer, Ian Monk, Véronique Pittolo, Jacques Roubaud, and Bénédicte Vilgrain.

Saturday, March 9th, 7pm
McNally Jackson bookstore
52 Prince St
New York, New York 10012-3309

You will have the opportunity to hear Charles Bernstein and Marjorie Welish read from their work, to hear exciting contemporary poetry in translation as well as French poetry of the past (François Villon and Louise Labé). You will have the occasion to discuss translation both as a poetics and as a practice.

The reading will conclude a translation seminar during which NYU MA students will translate contemporary French poets and French MA students from the Sorbonne Nouvelle will translate Marjorie Welish, Charles Bernstein, and Anna Moschovakis into French. The contemporary texts have never been translated before and they all have a connection to translation.


Short biographies :

Charles Bernstein is an American poet and the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1974 to 2009, Bernstein published 13 full-length collections of poetry along with artist’s books, three collections of essays, and two books of libretti. His writing has been translated into many languages and selected works in translation have been published in Brazil, France, Sweden, Finland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Cuba, Mexico, Germany, and China. He is the Co-founder of PennSound and of The Electronic Poetry Center. Among his latest books : All the Whiskey in Heaven : Selected Poems (2010), Blind Witness : Three American Operas (2008), Girly Man (2006), and Shadowtime (2005). Recalculating, a new collection of poems, is being published this month by the University of Chicago Press, which published Attack of the Difficult Poems in 2011.

Marjorie Welish is an American poet, an artist, and a critic. Among her many books : The Annotated ‘Here’ and Selected Poems (2000), Word Group (2004), Isle of the Signatories (2008), In the Futurity of Lounge – Asylum for Indeterminacy (2012). The students will translate from the last two books. A conference at the University of Pennsylvania was held to compile Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish (Cambridge University Press), a retrospective collection of papers and presentations given on her work, as well as a selection of Welish’s writing and painting. Some of her art criticism is collected in Signifying Art: Essays on Art after 1960 (1999).

Richard Sieburth is a translator, an essayist, an editor, and professor at NYU. Among his translations: Selected Writings of Gérard de Nerval (1999), Maurice Scève, Emblems of Desire : Selections from Maurice Scève’s Délie (2002 and Reprinted 2004), Eugène Guillevic, Geometries (2010), and Nostradamus, The Prophecies (2012).

David Georgi completed his Ph.D at New York University, in the Comparative Literature department. He studied medieval literature at NYU and it was there that he was first introduced to Villon and to translation. Though he decided not to go into academia, he has taught, written, and spoken about Villon as an independent scholar. Meanwhile, he works in publishing and lives right around the corner from here, on Mulberry Street. He translated François Villon’s Poems (2012).

Frédéric Boyer is a poet and a translator. Rappeler Roland, which he published with P.O.L weeks ago, contains a creative text, a translation into contemporary French of La Chanson de Roland, as well as an essay on what the Chanson de Roland means nowadays. Among his translations : Augustine, Les aveux (2008), Shakespeare, Richard II (2010) and the Sonnets (2010). His latest books : Hammurabi Hammurabi (2009), Techniques de l’amour (2010), Phèdre les oiseaux (2012). The students will translate from Rappeler Roland.

Ian Monk is a poet and a translator (of Perec as well as of Roussel). He was born in Britain but lives in France and writes both in English and in French. He is a member of the Oulipo. Among his latest books : La Jeunesse de Mek-Ouyes (2011), À chacun sa place (2008), and Plouk Town (2007). The students will translate from Comment dire en anglais : une année dans la vie d’un traducteur (2010).

Véronique Pittolo is a French poet. She often uses well-known figures (Schrek, Little Red Riding Hood, Helen…) to create a sense of déjà-vu in texts that both use fiction and poetry. Among her latest books Toute Résurrection commence par les pieds (2012), La Révolution dans la poche (2010), Ralentir Spider (2008), and Hélène mode d’emploi (2008), the latter of which the students will translate from.

Jacques Roubaud is one of the major French poets. He is also a novelist and a translator, an essayist, an anthologist, and a member of the Oulipo. His work has been extensively translated into English. Among others : Hortense is Abducted (trans. Dominic Di Bernardi, 1989), Some Thing Black and The Plurality of the Worlds of Lewis (trans. R. Waldrop, 1990 and 1995), Poetry, etcetera : Cleaning House (trans. Guy Bennett, 2006), The Loop (trans. Jeff Fort, 2009), Exchanges of Light (trans. E. Sikelianos, 2009), and Mathematics : (trans. Ian Monk, 2012).

Bénédicte Vilgrain is a poet, a translator, and the co-editor of Théâtre Typographique. Her poetic work consists mainly of a « Tibetan grammar, » whose chapters she publishes in installments. bCu, the tenth chapter of her grammar, was published a few weeks ago by Eric Pesty Editeur (

contact : Vincent Broqua

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