The Blog

@ ALTA 2010

Russell Valentino

My first day of the annual ALTA (American Literary Translators Association) conference, this year in Philadelphia, started off a little rocky, as I mistakenly attempted to to register for the Victoria Secret conference being held in the same convention center. The pink did seem a little strong for ALTA, but how did I know, the theme is different every year. Maybe a Victoria Secret theme might be just the ticket. I mean, isn’t translation kind of a guilty pleasure for its most adamant practitioners? I asked a few ALTAns to help me flesh out this thought. Oh yes, it doesn’t pay, and it’s something we REALLY like to do, said Alyson Waters. You might scandalize your parents, suggested Marian Schwartz: you want to do WHAT!? You want to go WHERE?!

On and Off the Road: Barbara Henning's THIRTY MILES TO ROSEBUD

Sarah Kosch

I picked up Barbara Henning's Thirty Miles to Rosebud because it was summer and a blurb on the back cover compared it to Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Perfect, I thought. Some adventures with the car window down and the feel of hot wind blowing the driver's hair is just what I want to read on a day like this. And I wasn't disappointed. Henning's independent and insightful protagonist Katie Anderson does indeed travel across the country from New York to Michigan, and from Michigan to Arizona, narrating along the way with a lyrical quality: "When the wind blows, the leaves turn up and back, dark green, light green. When the wind ripples, it looks like little waves across the fields. Cattle here and there and lots of bales of hay strewn over the hills.

The view from Ubud

Robin Hemley

(Dispatch number 2 from Ubud, Bali, by Robin Hamley, um, Hemley)

I had been slightly dreading my first panel of the day at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, "State of the Union," in which we were going to discuss "the shifting preoccupations of literature, society, and politics in Obama's America."

As I've spent most of the last two years outside of the U.S., first in the Philippines and then in Southern , France, I didn't feel especially qualified. My other panelists seemed much more so, among them Los Angeles-based novelist and short story writer, Lisa Teasley, novelist and painter Rabih Alameddine, who splits his time between San Francisco and Lebanon, and Mike Otterman, a young New York writer who's written two books on torture and Iraq.

TIR vs. Stereotypical, Mostly Boring Readings: TIR Wins

Lynne Nugent

The Iowa Review annual Fall Reading took place at Prairie Lights Monday night.

I arrived fifteen minutes early and was alarmed at the amount of open chairs, since I had been put in charge of the publicity and poster-making blitz. Thankfully, by the time Russell went up to the podium to get the ball rolling, the chairs were all filled and people even had to sit on the floor in the back. I think that qualifies as a full house, if I do say so myself.


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