On Wednesday, March 28, the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College will present a symposium on the literature of the Middle East and those who write and translate it. This symposium is being presented in conjunction with Archipelago Books, publisher—among many others—of esteemed Lebanese writer Elias Khoury, who will be giving a keynote address at 6:30 p.m.

I just blogged on Translationista about the genesis of the symposium and its participants (but let me mention in particular Iraqi-born author and translator Sinan Antoon, National Translation Award winner Aron Aji, and PEN Translation Committee members Sara Khalili and Murat Nemet-Nejat). Click over to enjoy these details. Or just scroll down to peruse the roster of the day’s events. The symposium features writers and translators working in the literatures of Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, and Israel, as well as the United States, and given the excellent group of participants, it is guaranteed to be a day of rich conversations.

The symposium is open to the public. We hope you will join us.

Interwoven Worlds: A Symposium Celebrating the Literature of the Middle East

(All panels prior to 6:30 p.m. keynote address located in President’s Conference Room #2)

11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Reading by MFA Students, introduced by Nicole Cooley

12–1 p.m.
Lunch break

1:15–2:45 p.m.
Workshop: Editing Translations, introduced by Susan Bernofsky

Jill Schoolman (Archipelago Books)
Edwin Frank (New York Review Books Classics)

2:45–3:15 p.m.
Coffee Break

3:15–4:45 p.m.
The Politics of Translation—On Navigating Cultural (Mis)understandings

Aron Aji (Turkish)
Sara Khalili (Persian)
Barbara Harshav (Hebrew)
Roger Sedarat, moderator

5–6:15 p.m.
The Writer as Translator—Multilingual Writer/Translators on Cross-Pollinations in Their Work

Sinan Antoon (Arabic/Iraq)
Murat Nemet-Nejat (Turkish)
Ammiel Alcalay (Hebrew)
Susan Bernofsky, moderator

6:30–8 p.m.
Rosenthal Library 230 (2nd floor auditorium)
Keynote Presentation: Elias Khoury (Arabic/Lebanon): A Writer’s Journey

To be followed by light reception and book signing.

And here’s how to get here:
Queens College is located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Queens, and is best reached by taking the E/F trains to Forest Hills (exit near the center of the platform) and transferring to bus Q64, which picks up right in front of the subway exit. This bus stops at Kissena Blvd.; cross the street and walk two blocks down Kissena to the main gate of the college The trip from midtown Manhattan takes around an hour. All events will be held in Rosenthal Library on the main quadrangle (easy to find because it has a very large clock tower attached to it).

I hope you’ll join us for some or all of these events.