In this transnational era, literary translation pushes further the shared questions of our countries. Poetry, being a home to the special features of a language, is essential to understanding the nature of a language itself, and thus translation of poetry is not merely a transferring of meaning, but something essential to understanding our being, and understanding our being together.
In its second year, A-festival 2017’s theme concentrates on translational and transnational issues in the context of practicing freedoms of expression. Due to the constraints of cultural, social, and political frames, there are authors who must take shelter in translation as their only hope for survival and rebirth, there are authors who are limited in, cut off from, or blatantly denied a readership in their home language. For such cases, translation is vital to the livelihood of these authors directly, and by extension, the communities whose literary and global consciousness is expanded through the acts of reading them.
This year’s intimate and independent international gathering will bring together poets and translators from around Vietnam, the US, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, and Taiwan. The festival will take place across two cities in Vietnam, starting in Hanoi from October 11 and then relocate to Saigon on October 15 and include a variety of workshops, panel discussions, readings and performances all centered around personal practices and politics of translation.
A-festival believes in the equality of every language, and endeavors to care better for the underrepresented languages, specifically those languages of the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and others. We attend to the question of how to represent the unrepresented languages.
A-festival is hosted by the community of AJAR press, a bilingual journal and independent small press based in Hanoi. AJAR provides an opening for questions, imaginings, and poetic (im)possibility to be shared across borders, inhabiting language as it moves between worlds and words. In bringing fresh and critical voices of Vietnamese literature and art into English, and welcoming those voices from everywhere into Vietnamese, we focus on quality translations and envision books as artifacts of artistic collaboration. Alongside single author poetry collections, AJAR publishes a bilingual journal of poetry, short fiction, essay, and artwork that revolves around a specific word of choice for each issue.
List of a few A-Festival Guests:
-Hai Dang Phan is a Vietnamese-born American poet, translator, and scholar. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2016, Boston Review, New England Review, Asymptote. The author of the chapbook Small Wars (Convulsive Editions, 2016), he is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Grinnell College and is completing his first book, Reenactments: Poems and Translations.
-Hải Yến, 1994. yen may be yen may be yen if watered.
-Lee Yew Leong is the founder of Asymptote, winner of the 2015 London Book Fair Award for Literary Translation Initiative. Based in Taipei, he works as a freelance editor and translator of contemporary Taiwanese literature. Winner of the James Assatly Memorial Prize for Fiction (Brown University), he has written for The New York Times, among others, and recently served as one of the judges for PEN International’s 2016 New Voices Award.
-Elizabeth Allen lives in Sydney where she writes and works as a bookseller at Gleebooks.She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Forgetful Hands (Vagabond Press, 2005), and a full-length collection, Body Language (Vagabond Press, 2012), which won the Anne Elder Award. Her new poetry collection, Present, will be published by Vagabond Press this year.
-Linh Dinh is the author of two collections of stories, five of poems and a novel on Vietnam, Love Like Hate. He’s been anthologized in several editions of Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present and Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2), etc. He is also the editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry. His latest book is Postcards from the End of America. Focusing on the unraveling of the United States, Dinh has published hundreds of articles on the internet, most prominently at Unz Review. He has been translated into many languages.
-Ellen van Neerven is a Yugambeh woman from South East Queensland. She is the author of Comfort Food and Heat and Light which won the 2013 David Unaipon Award, the 2015 Dobbie Award and the 2016 NSW Premiers Literary Awards Indigenous Writer's Prize.
-Peter Boyle is an Australian poet and translator of poetry who lives in Sydney. He has published seven books of poetry, including Ghostspeaking (Vagabond, 2016), Towns in the Great Desert (Puncher and Wattman, 2013) and Apocrypha (Vagabond, 2009). He is also a translator of poetry from French and Spanish with six books of translation published, including Selected Poems by Olga Orozco, Marosa di Giorgio and Jorge Palma (Vagabond, 2017). He was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Literary Translation and the Philip Hodgins Medal for Literature, an award for lifetime contribution to Australian literature.
-Joshua Ip is the Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of sonnets from the singlish upsized edition (2015), making love with scrabble tiles (2013), and sonnets from the singlish (2012). He co-edits two series of anthologies: A Luxury We Cannot Afford and SingPoWriMo; and edits Ten Year Series, an imprint of Math Paper Press. He is the founder of Sing Lit Station, a non-profit that runs multiple community initiatives, including SingPoWriMo, Manuscript Bootcamp, poetry.sg, and several workshop groups.
We are aiming to reach the necessary funding goal by September 30th, 2017 in order to prepare for the festival in the most efficient manner. We thank you for your contribution and support.
*In order for us to receive the shipping address for the REWARDS, please donate directly to the linked amount tab, or E-MAIL your SHIPPING ADDRESS directly to [email redacted] *
- Duyen Bui
- Kaitlin Solimine
- Ned Colby
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more