Translation without limits & the limits of translation, part two: 'The Joys of Influence'

Keynote speech, American Literary Translators Association annual meeting, October 30, 2015, continued from posting on November 16 here & here. 

An interview with Noemi Press

More literature from the edges...

If you've heard of Noemi Press, you're in good company! They answered my questions eagerly, and here are the details. If you're so inclined, after reading this, you can find their books online at Read on to find out more!

a. How did Noemi get its start, and who was behind it?

From what I understand, Noemi was birthed in 2002 in the New Mexican desert, from necessity and inspiration. Carmen Giménez-Smith and Evan Lavender-Smith are our founders, with a generous & exciting board behind them.

First reading of Hannah Sanghee Park's 'And a Lie' (1)

Susan McCabe

Hannah Sanghee Park (left) and Susan McCabe

A first reading, is it possible? I realize as I approach the poem how excited I am to open the package, find its surprise. This is what I expect when I read a poem. Poems are puzzles, and as I look upon this choicely narrow-looking “visual” stance, I want to jump in, but I stop myself: I do this a lot in my first close readings. Especially if the “look” of the poem immediately grabs me, as this one does: the title “And A Lie” suggests we are already in the middle of things, or at the end of a catalogue of “things.” And now a lie.

Ngā Kaituhi Wāhine Māori — Māori Women Writers

Ngā Kaituhi Wāhine Māori - Māori Women Writers
Ngā Kaituhi Wāhine Māori - Māori Women Writers

Kia ora tātou katoa. [Let us all be well.]

He mihi tino mahana ki a katoa hoki. [A warm greeting to all also.]

Ko he korero tēnei mo ngā kaituhi wāhine Māori kei konei: ngā wāhine tino mōhio me ki te timata o te tuhi te taima katoa. Te tuhi o ngā mōteatea, ngā waiata, ngā ruri, ngā whiti te mea te mea te mea. [This is a commentary about Māori women writers: very intelligent women always at the creation of writing. Writing song-poetry, songs, love poems, verse and so on.]

Ka huri ahau ki te reo Ingarahi ināianei mo ngā tangata  i kāore mohio taku reo tuatahi. [I will now turn to the English language for the people who don't know my first language.]

Māori women, then, are often the inaugrators, the initiators of poetry. Here it is stressed yet again that for Māori everything is connected holistically, that it is all rather arbitrary to sub-divide songs as separate from poetry and so on, that such are pākehā striates only.


Jen Hofer & John Pluecker, Blaffer Museum. Photo courtesy of Antena/Madsen Minax
Jen Hofer and John Pluecker, Blaffer Museum. Photo courtesy of Antena/Madsen Minax.

The Intermedium series concludes with my conversation with Antena, the collaborative created by Jen Hofer and John Pluecker.  As individuals Hofer and Pluecker have carried out extensive projects in translation and poetics.  United as Antena, they create manifestos and how-to guides regarding translation, among many other thought-provoking interventions.  As the conversation demonstrates, Hofer and Pluecker have reflected extensively on values and practices associated with literary translation while pursuing experiment.  In the context of a poetics magazine, the Antena project merits special attention for another whole zone of exploration:  it advances conversations and events to highlight specific complexities of interpretation (spoken and signed), with special attention to language justice.