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Writers in Translation news from English PEN: July 2015


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July 2015

Welcome to your monthly newsletter from the Writers in Translation programme at English PEN

In this email you can find out about: LOTS of international literature and translation events; the latest books to be awarded a PEN Translates grant; a call-out for (paid) assessors; and a competition to win free books!

If you would like to share translation news through this bulletin, please write to

Have a great month!


1 July - Intelligence Squared: Roberto Saviano: The campaigning Italian journalist and 2011 PEN Pinter Writer of Courage speaks to Fergal Keane about his latest book, Zero Zero Zero. Read more
5 July - Poetry As Protest: Poets George Szirtes and Sabrina Mahfouz join English PEN director Jo Glanville for a special Ledbury Poetry Festival event chaired by Ursula Owen. Read more
23 July - Shubbak: Speaking Truth to Power: Iraqi author Sinan Antoon, Kurdish poet Choman Hardi and Syrian writer Samar Yazbek debate the limits of freedom of expression in the Middle East and beyond. Read more
25 July - Poetry International: Modern War Poetry: Discover the war poets of today who are recording their experiences for future generations. Chaired by BBC broadcaster Harriett Gilbert. Read more

The Royal African Society's annual Africa Writes festival kicks off this Friday 3rd July. Many events are free and the line-up looks great! For more information and to book click here.

Modern Poetry in Translation and Free Word are hosting a discussion between Russian children’s poet Marina Boroditskaya and poet and campaigner Michael Rosen on Thursday 9th July, about the politics of children’s poetry. Chaired by MPT editor Sasha Dugdale. Read more

We're looking ahead to Edinburgh International Book Festival (August), which is heaving with international writers this year, including many supported by English PEN. Check out our top recommendations - we suggest you book early!

Congratulations to the following publishers, writers and translators who have been awarded a PEN Translates grant:

  • Paper Tiger by Xu Zhiyuan, translated from Mandarin by Michelle Deeter and Nicky Harman. Published by Head of Zeus, August 2015
  • Lost Evenings, Lost Lives by Aazhiyaal, Theva Abira et al, translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström and Sascha Ebeling. Published by Arc Publications, October 2015
  • Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from French by Roland Glasser. Published by Jacaranda Books, October 2015
  • All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski, translated from German by Anthea Bell. Published by Granta Books, November 2015
  • Diary of a Body by Daniel Pennac, translated from French by Alyson Waters. Published by Maclehose Press, November 2015
  • On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, translated from Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa. Published by Harvill Secker, February 2016
  • The Transmigration of the Bodies by Yuri Herrera, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman. Published by And Other Stories, March 2016
  • I'll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey. Published by And Other Stories, June 2016
  • Nouons-nous by Emmanuelle Pagano, translated from French by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins. Published by And Other Stories, July 2016
  • In the Rock by Clemens Meyer, translated from German by Katy Derbyshire. Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, October 2016
  • Erik's Journey to Valhalla by Lars-Henrik Olsen, translated from Danish by Paul Russell Garrett. Published by Aurora Metro Books, May 2017
  • The Book of Khartoum edited by Raphael Cormack and Max Shmookler. Published by Comma Press, date tbc

PEN Translates seeks expert linguists with good knowledge of the publishing field to help us assess books submitted for a grant. Assessors are paid £140 per assessment. For the current round, we are urgently seeking assessors in the following languages: Occitan (Gascon), Portuguese (Brazil) and Danish. Please write to

PEN-supported books published this month:

The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret, translated by Sondra Silverstone, Miriam Shlesinger, Jessica Cohen and Anthony Berris

The House in Smyrna by Tatiana Salem Levy, translated by Alison Entrekin

Confessions of the Lioness by Mia Couto, translated by David Brookshaw

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, translated by John Cullen


To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Writers in Translation programme, we are asking YOU, the reading public, to vote for your favourite World Bookshelf book. Every month, one lucky voter will win a set of five of the latest World Bookshelf books. The public's favourite book will be announced at the end of the year!


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