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2019 Biographies

English to French & French to English

Funded by the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada/Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada 

Workshop leader - Arianne Des Rochers

Arianne Des Rochers holds a Master’s degree in literary translation from the University of Ottawa as well as a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University specialising in translation. A member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Cananda, she has taught courses in general translation, literary translation, translation theory and terminology at the Université de Montréal, Concordia University, the University of Ottawa and the Glendon College of York University in Toronto. She has been translating professionally since 2012 and has published literary translations with Lux Éditeur and Mémoire d'encrier. At present, she is pursuing doctoral studies in comparative literature at the University of Toronto, where her research focuses on the translation of plurilingual texts.           


Author - Nathanaël

Nathanaël is the (self-)translating author of more than a score of books written in English or in French. Notable works include Le cri du chrysanthème (2018), an essay on photography, translation and extinction; the phototextual notebook, La mort de ma sœur (2018); the short novel, Feder: a scenario (2016); the avian cahier, L’heure limicole (2016); Sotto l’immagine (2014), a narrative treatise on the untranslatable; and the essay of correspondence, Absence Where As (Claude Cahun and the Unopened Book) (2009), first published in French as L’absence au lieu (Claude Cahun et le livre inouvert) (2007). Nathanaël has translated works by Danielle Collobert, Édouard Glissant, Frédérique Guétat-Liviani, Hervé Guibert, Catherine Mavrikakis, Chantal Neveu, and Hilda Hilst (the latter in collaboration with Rachel Gontijo Araújo). From English, she has translated John Keene, Trish Salah, Reginald Gibbons, and Rachel Gontijo Araújo. The recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship (2002) and residential bursaries from the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia (2003) and the Collège international des traducteurs littéraires à Arles (2013), her translation of The Mausoleum of Lovers by Hervé Guibert has been recognized by fellowships from the PEN American Center and the Centre National du Livre de France. Born in Montréal, she lives in Chicago. 


Italian to English

Funded by Pro Helvetia (Swiss Arts Council)

Workshop leader - Shaun Whiteside

Shaun Whiteside’s latest translations from French, German and Italian include Black Water Lilies and Time is a Killer by Michel Bussi, The Temptation to be Happy by Lorenzo Marone, Malacqua by Nicola Pugliese, Blitzed by Norman Ohler and To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothmann. He has previously translated works by Nietzsche, Freud, Schnitzler and Musil for Penguin Classics. He lives in London.


Author - Elvira Dones

Elvira Dones is a bilingual novelist of Albanian origin. Born in Durrës and raised in Tirana, under a Stalinist dictatorship, in 1988 Dones defected to Switzerland. She is the author of seven novels and two collections of short stories. Dones has written her last two novels in the Italian language: Piccola guerra perfetta and Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin). The eponymous award-winning movie Vergine giurata / Sworn Virgin (Nora Ephron Prize at Tribeca) is based on the latter. From 2004 to 2015 Dones lived and worked the United States. She's now back in Ticino, Switzerland. Her literary work has been translated into Italian, French, English, German and Polish. Dones is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker.


Multilingual Poetry 



Workshop leader - Clare Pollard

Photo credit: Marcos Avlonitis

Clare Pollard has published five collections of poetry, the latest of which is Incarnation (2017). Her translation projects include Ovid’s Heroines (2013), which she toured as a one-woman show, and a co-translation of Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf’s The Sea-Migrations (2017) which was The Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. She edits Modern Poetry in Translation.


Multilingual Prose


Workshop leader - Daniel Hahn

Photo credit: Anita Staff -

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator, with some sixty books to his name. His translations (from Portuguese, Spanish and French) include fiction from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the International Dublin Literary Award, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the LA Times Book Award, among others. A former chair of the Translators Association and the Society of Authors and national programme director of BCLT, he has also been a judge on the panel for the Man Booker International Prize.


Slovenian to English

Funded by the AHRC - Open World Research Initiative Project - 'Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community'

Workshop leader - Olivia Hellewell

Olivia Hellewell is a translator from Slovene currently based in Wales, UK. She recently completed her Ph.D. thesis on the translation of Slovenian literature post-1991 at the University of Nottingham, and is now working on her second book-length literary translation project, Goran Vojnović’s The Fig Tree, for Istros Books. She is the recipient of a PEN Translates! Award (for The Fig Tree) and was awarded first prize in the 2019 Asymptote Close Approximations contest in the fiction category, for her translation of an excerpt from Katja Perat's The Masochist. 


Author - Goran Vojnović

Goran Vojnović is a film director, writer and columnist. His first novel Čefurji raus! (Southern Scum go home!) was a bestseller while it also won Goran an award for the best Slovenian novel of the year, which he also received for his next two novels, Jugoslavija, moja dežela (Yugoslavia, my country) and Figa (The fig tree). His novels are translated into 15 languages, while Čefurji raus! and Jugoslavija, moja dežela were successively adopted for theatre. Goran’s comedy Tak si is one of the most successful theatre performances in Slovenia in the past decade and his new play Rajzefiber is set to premier this autumn. For the last ten years Goran Vojnović has a weekly column in one of the biggest Slovenian newspapers Dnevnik.


Spanish to English

Funded by the AHRC - Open World Research Initiative Project - 'Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community'

Workshop leader - Anne McLean

Anne McLean studied history in London, Ontario and literary translation in London, England, and now lives in Toronto, where she translates Latin American and Spanish novels, short stories, travelogues, memoirs, and other writings by authors including Héctor Abad, Isabel Allende, Julio Cortázar, Javier Cercas, Daniel Gascón, Eduardo Halfon, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Evelio Rosero, Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Enrique Vila-Matas. Over the years her work has been recognized by awards such as the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2004, 2009), the Premio Valle Inclán (2004, 2016) and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.


Author - Lina Meruane 

Photo credit: Lorena Palavecino

Lina Meruane is an award-winning Chilean writer and scholar, teaching at New York University. She has authored several non-fiction books and five novels. Sangre en el ojo, translated into seven languages (into English by Megan McDowell as Seeing Red) received the prestigious Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Novel Prize in Mexico. Her most recent novel, Sistema Nervioso, also translated by McDowell, will be published by Graywolf in the US and Atlantic in the UK.


Plenary Sessions


Kate Briggs

Kate Briggs is a writer and translator based in Rotterdam, NL. She is the author of This Little Art (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017), a narrative essay on the practice of literary translation which draws in part on her experiences of translating Roland Barthes’s How to Live Together and The Preparation of the Novel (Columbia University Press, 2011 and 2013). This Little Art was a book of the year in the TLS and The White Review and longlisted for a Believer Book Award. Recent publications include ‘Of the Novel Experimental’ (Do Not Make The, MAP 2018), an excerpt from a translation-in-progress, and Entertaining Ideas (Ma Bibliothèque, 2019), a short book on reading Elizabeth Jane Howard’s The Long View. She teaches writing at the Piet Zwart Institute. 


Clarissa Botsford

Clarissa Botsford has worked in the fields of teaching, intercultural education, editing, translating and publishing and is also a singer, violinist and humanist celebrant. She currently teaches English and Translation Studies at Roma Tre University. Her recent translations include:Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones (And Other Stories, 2014) Ontani in Bali by Emanuele Trevi (Humboldt Editions, 2016), Valerio Magrelli’s Condominium of the Flesh (Free Verse Editions, 2015) and excerpts of his Geology of a Father (Comparative Critical Studies, 2017) commended at the John Dryden Translation Competition, and Nadia Terranova’s Contrary Years, which won the 2016 The Bridge Prize. Her translation of Elvira Dones’s Burnt Sun was a special feature in Asymptote in 2017. She is currently working on Marco Belpoliti’s Primo Levi: an Identikit,  a critical compendium to the Complete Works of Primo Levi.


Rosie Goldsmith

Photo credit: Daniel Modzinski

Rosie Goldsmith is an award-winning journalist specializing in arts and foreign affairs. In twenty years at the BBC, she travelled the world and presented several flagship programmes such as Crossing Continents and Front Row. Rosie is a linguist (French, German, Italian) and has lived in Europe, Africa and the USA. Today she combines journalism with chairing and curating literary events and festivals for leading cultural organisations. Known as a champion of international literature, translation and language learning, she promotes them whenever she can. She is Founder and Director of the European Literature Network, Chair of Judges for the EBRD International Literature Prize and presents the literary podcast The Words. She is literature consultant to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and to many cultural organisations round the world.

Bill Swainson

Photo credit: Anita Staff -

Bill Swainson is a publisher and editor with forty years experience in independent and mainstream publishing, editing a wide range of writers including Mourid Barghouti, Javier Cercas, Paul Durcan, A. C. Grayling, Dermot Healy, Rachel Holmes, Jaan Kaplinski, David Kynaston, Edward Lucas, Amin Maalouf, Laurie Penny, Jacqueline Rose, Boualem Sansal, Judith Schalansky, W.G. Sebald, Will Self, Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Delphine de Vigan. For fifteen years until 2015 he was Senior Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury and previously worked for the Harvill Press, Fourth Estate, Allison & Busby and John Calder (Publishers) He is currently Editor at Large for Fiction for MacLehose Press and for Non-Fiction at Oneworld Publications. He is also a literary consultant and freelance editor, working with, among others, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Gingko Library/Haus Publishing, The French Institute and Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation in Dublin. He was a literary advisor at the British Centre for Literary Translation at UEA (1990-2), and has been an advisor at the Santa Maddalena Foundation in Italy since it began in 1998. Ltd. In 2015 he was award an OBE for services to literary translation.


Stefan Tobler

Born in Belém, Brazil in 1974, Stefan Tobler is the publisher of And Other Stories and, whenever time permits, a translator from Portuguese and German. His translations include the 2017 Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize and 2018 Schlegel-Tieck Prize-shortlisted translation of Arno Geiger’s The Old King in His Exile, the 2015 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize-shortlisted Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and the 2016 Man Booker International Prize-longlisted and Premio Jabuti-winning (Best Foreign Publication category) A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar. Sometimes on twitter at @stefantobler.


Creative Writing Sessions

K J Orr

Photo credit: Lottie Davies

K J Orr is an award-winning writer based in London. Light Box, her first collection of short stories, was selected as a book of the year in the Observer and a publisher pick of the year in the Guardian in 2016, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2017, and includes ‘Disappearances’, winner of the BBC National Short Story Award. Orr’s fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, commissioned, anthologised, translated and adapted for film. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the TLS, the Guardian and Poetry Review, among others. She holds a doctorate in Creative Writing, for which she explored liminality in short fiction through critical and creative writing. Recent teaching positions have included a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia where she taught on the MFA programme (2016-2018). In April 2019, she was writer in residence at the Escuela de Otoño de Traducción Literaria in Buenos Aires (organised by the Instituto Lenguas Vivas and AATI, and part of the AHRC, OWRI 'Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community' project led by the University of Manchester).


Julianne Pachico

Julianne Pachico was born in Cambridge, UK and grew up in Cali, Colombia. She is a graduate of both the MA and PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she currently teaches on the Creative Writing MA. She is the only writer to have two stories in the 2015 anthology of the Best British Short Stories, and her short fiction has been published by The New Yorker among other places. In 2017 Pachico was shortlisted for the Sunday Times/Peter Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. The Lucky Ones was published by Faber (US), Random House (US), and Planeta (Colombia), with translations in Dutch, French, and Italian. Her next novel The Anthill is forthcoming in May 2020.