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[VIRTUAL] A Bilingual Reading To Celebrate Women In Translation Month

It’s August, and time once again to celebrate Women in Translation (#WiT) Month! This initiative was started six years ago by blogger Meytal Radzinski with the purpose of focusing on translating words by women or nonbinary authors and working toward gender parity in literary publishing—so important to freedom of expression throughout the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up opportunities to include translators and the authors they translate in a virtual reading format, showcasing participants who might otherwise not have been able to travel to such an event in the past.

Organized under the aegis of the PEN America Translation Committee, this event will bring together five translators joined by their authors, working in such varied languages as Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Sinhalese, and Turkish. The reading will be followed by a brief Q&A discussion. We hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind bilingual reading!

The event will be held on Zoom and will take place on August 27 at 1pm ET. Register in advance of the event. The conversation will be moderated by Nancy Naomi Carlson.

The translator/author pairs are as follows:

Agnes Marton (translator) and Zita Izso (Hungarian)

Olivia Sears (translator) and Mariangela Gualtieri (Italian)

Rachael Daum (translator) and Natalia Rubanova (Russian)

Chamini Kulathunga (translator) and Thilini N. Liyanaarachchi (Sinhalese)

Ralph Hubbell (translator) and Nazli Karabiyikoğlu (Turkish)



Nancy Naomi Carlson headshotNancy Naomi Carlson, twice an NEA grant recipient, has appeared in APR, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and Poetry. An Infusion of Violets (Seagull, 2019) was called “new & noteworthy” by The New York Times. She is a counseling professor at Walden University and an editor for Tupelo Quarterly.


Agnes Marton headshotAgnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, writer, librettist, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and reviews editor at The Ofi Press. Recent publications include her collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List and four chapbooks with Moria Books (USA). She won the National Poetry Day Competition in the UK.

Zita Izso headshotZita Izso is a Hungarian poet and editor, as well as the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Zsigmond Móricz Literary Grant and the NKA Arts Grant. She published her third poetry collection in 2018 under the title Éjszakai földet érés (Nighttime Landing).

Olivia E. Sears headshotTranslator Olivia E. Sears is founder of the Center for the Art of Translation and serves on the editorial board of Two Lines Press. Her translations of Mariangela Gualtieri have appeared in The Arkansas International and are forthcoming in Copper Nickel and The Common.

Mariangela Gualtieri headshotMariangela Gualtieri has published over a dozen collections of poetry and plays. As dramaturge of the famed Teatro Valdoca, co-founded with Cesare Ronconi, she often bridges the realms of poetry and theater, cultivating the oral dimension of poetry as well as its communal, collective roots. She is the author of her bestselling volume Bestia digioia (Einaudi, 2010).

Rachael Daum headshotRachael Daum translates from Serbian, Russian, and German. She received her MA from Indiana University and her BA from the University of Rochester; she completed certificates in literary translation studies at both institutions. She lives in Cologne, Germany, and is the American Literary Translators Association’s communications & awards manager.

Natalia Rubanova headshotNatalia Rubanova lives in Moscow, Russia. She studied piano at Ryazan Musical College and received her bachelor’s from Moscow Pedagogical State University. She has published four books. Her plays have been performed in Russia and most recently in London at the SOLO International Festival, where she was awarded the prize for Best New Writing.

Chamini Kulathunga headshotChamini Kulathunga is a Sri Lankan translator. She is a graduate of the Iowa Translation Workshop and a 2019 summer visiting fellow at Cornell University’s South Asia Program. Kulathunga was the former blog editor at Exchanges. Her work has appeared in World Literature Today, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.

Thilini N. Liyanaarachchi headshotThilini N. Liyanaarachchi is a Sri Lankan poet. Her debut poetry collection අප්රකාශිත ප්රේමය (Unrequited Love) was published in March 2020. Her Facebook page “unwritten poem” was one of the first literary pages in Sri Lanka to reach 100,000 followers. Liyanaarachchi’s poetry explores topics such as human connections, cultural restrictions, and class disparity.

Ralph Hubbell headshotRalph Hubbell holds an MFA in creative writing from the Johns Hopkins University. His fiction, essays, and translations have appeared in The Sun MagazineWords Without BordersAsymptoteTin House’s “Lost and Found,” and elsewhere. He lives in Baltimore, MD and is currently working on a translation of Oğuz Atay’s short stories.

Nazli Karabiyikoğlu headshotNazli Karabiyikoğlu is an author from Turkey, now full-time resident in Georgia, who secluded herself from the political and gender oppression in Turkey. She was awarded with the Writer-in-Residence program in Prague by UNESCO City of Literature 2020 and the Writers-in-Exile Scholarship by PEN Germany for 2021–2022.