MK Literature Festival, September 22-26, 2017.
Fiona Doloughan, Senior Lecturer in English (Literature and Creative Writing) and author of English as a Literature in Translation (Bloomsbury, 2016) chaired a panel discussion on literature in translation, just one of many exciting events in the first Milton Keynes Lit Fest. The panel consisted of Kerstin Hensel (author), Meike Ziervogel (founder of Peirene Press, author and translator) and Jen Calleja (translator-in-residence at the British Library, writer and musician). In the context of the launch of the translation of Kerstin Hensel’s 1994 novella Tanz am Kanal translated by Jen Calleja for Peirene Press in 2017 as Dance by the Canal, discussion focussed on the translation process; on the role of literature in translation on the making of literary culture; and on the creativity of the translator. Meike Ziervogel also talked about Peirene Now!, an offshoot of Peirene Press, where contemporary writers are commissioned to engage in their work with current political and social issues such as the refugee crisis and Brexit. In addition, there were comments and questions from the audience who welcomed the opportunity to attend a bilingual reading and discuss literature in translation.