Poets read, translate English to Spanish
The words of a poem can set a heart afire, or inflame a spirit to action. But what about a poem created in one language and then translated into another? Does it lose the power to evoke emotion? Will it convey the message the author intended?
A free lecture at Western Nevada College on Wednesday, March 4, 7-9 p.m. will consider the challenges of poetry translation, and will feature two area poets in the process. Shaun Griffin and Roy Chavez will discuss the process of translating poetry from English to Spanish in a lecture, "Why Translate: A Poet's Journey to the Most Rewarding Act." They will also read from their own work.
WNC English Professor Marilee Swirczek invited the notable writers into her English 299 Creative Writing class, and then decided that others might find it helpful and interesting, too. So she moved her class to Marlette Hall in the Cedar Building at WNC Carson City campus, and members of the public are now welcome to attend.
According to Griffin, "Translation is a very subjective process. Taking a poem from the literal to the imaginative world of its author is a subtle unearthing of that imagined ideal." There are many considerations, he noted. "The voice of the poet, the time it was written, and the overarching need to stay true to the author's original version - to avoid rewriting the poem in the translator's voice."
Griffin is the author of four books of poetry and editor of three volumes of poetry and prose. He received the Governor's Arts Award in 1996, and the Rosemary McMillan Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from Sierra Arts Foundation in 2006.
Roy Chavez Alvarado hails from Lima, Peru. In 1978, he founded the pamphlet "Epoca" (poetry) with other poets of his age, prior to coming to the U.S. in 1982. After his day job as an engineering designer ends, Chavez Alvarado writes poetry and is a member of Carson City's Ash Canyon Poets. His work has been published in numerous publications, and he has presented readings in Las Vegas and Reno.
Press Release: March 2, 2009
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