LitFest: Language vs the Publishing Industry

Monday, May 17, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Register Here! 2021-05-17 7:00 PM 2021-05-17 8:15 PM America/New_York LitFest: Language vs the Publishing Industry 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (Run-time 75 min)

Presented in partnership with Chautauqua Institution

How does Publishing dictate what languages are furthered and which are forgotten? What happens when the dialect you speak at home is not what you see reflected in books? What is the role of literary translation in creating recognition for languages that are dismissed as dialects or disruptions? What will it take to translate the canonical literature of smaller countries into English? Our expert panel grapples with these questions and shares their literary work.

Languages: Spanish and Guyanese Creole
Format: Live conversation in English; viewed virtually

Featured Panelists:

Frank Báez born in the Dominican Republic in 1978, has published six books of poetry, a short story collection, and two nonfiction books. He belongs to the Spoken Word band El Hombrecito, which has produced three albums. In 2006 he received the Short Stories Prize of the Santo Domingo International Book Fair for You’;ll Have to Pay the Shrinks!, and in 2007 he won the Salomé Ureña National Poetry Prize for Post Cards. In 2017 he was selected for the Hay Festival as a member of Bogotá39, the list of the best Latin American writers under 40.

Rajiv Mohabir is the author of Cutlish (Four Way Books 2021), The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize; Eric Hoffer Honorable Mention 2018) and The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize, Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017), and translator of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (1916) (Kaya Press 2019) which received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant Award and the 2020 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets. His hybrid memoir, Antiman (Restless Books 2021), received the 2019 Restless Books’ New Immigrant Writing Prize. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College, translations editor at Waxwing Journal and poetry editor of Asian American Literary Review.

Adalber Salas Hernández (Caracas, 1987) is a poet, essayist and translator. He is the author of several books of poems, such as: Salvoconducto (XXXVI Arcipreste de Hita Prize; Valencia, Pre-Textos, 2015), mínimos (Madrid, Amargord Ediciones, 2016), and La ciencia de las despedidas (Valencia, Pre-Textos, 2018). He also has published a volume of essays on Venezuelan poetry; Estábamos muertos y podíamos respirar a reflection on Paul Celan’s poetics; Clarice Lispector: el lugar de la poesía (Santiago de Chile, Ril Editores, 2019), on Clarice Lispector’s work; and Palabras sin dueño. Variaciones sobre la traducción literaria (Mexico City, Dirección de Literatura UNAM / Periódico de Poesía, 2019), a volume of essays on literary translation. He is currently part of the editorial boards of the magazines Poesía and Buenos Aires Poetry. He currently pursues a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese at NYU. The Science of Departures (the English translation of La ciencia de las despedidas, by Robin Myers) will be published this Fall by Kenning Editions.


Sony Ton-Aime is a Haitian poet, essayist, and translator. He is the director of Literary Arts at Chautauqua Institution. In addition to his chapbook, LaWomann (Ironworks Press, 2019), he is the author of the Haitian Creole translation of the book Olympic Hero: The Lennox Kilgour’s Story. He is a co-founding editor of ID13. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Brainchild, Luna Negra, La Revista PingPong, The Oakland Review, Dunes Review, Poets.org, Hunger Mountain Review, among others.

Pittsburgh International Literary Festival (LitFest) is a 10-day event that considers themes of migration, identity, and displacement with an emphasis on works in translation. (Full Schedule Here)

Event Details

May 17, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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