Papi is one of World Literature Today’s Top 75 Translations of 2016

We’re so pleased that Papi, written by Rita Indiana and translated by our own Achy Obejas, is one of World Literature Today’s Top 75 Translations of 2016.

Our Instructors for January Residency

We are proud to announce our instructors for our January 2017 residency. This fine group of seasoned translators will give public lectures in January.

All of these lectures are free and open to the public. They will all take place on the Mills College campus at 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613.


Dan Bellm Presents “Double Takes: Reading Multiple Translations of Poetry and Prose”

January 10th, 2017| 12pm | Mills Hall Room 132

dan-bellmDan Bellm (Berkeley, CA) is a poet and translator. His fourth book of poems, Deep Well, comes out from Lavender Ink (New Orleans) in 2017; his third, Practice (Sixteen Rivers Press, San Francisco), won the 2009 California Book Award. Recent books of poetry in translation include Speaking in Song, by Mexican poet Pura López Colomé (Shearsman Books, UK, 2017), The Song of the Dead, by French poet Pierre Reverdy (Black Square Editions, New York, 2016), and Description of a Flash of Cobalt Blue, by Mexican poet Jorge Esquinca (Unicorn Press, Greensboro, NC, 2015). He teaches literary translation and poetry in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

Tiffany Higgins Presents “Social Advocacy in the Selection of Texts to be Translated: Listening to the Sea of Afro-Brazilian Poetry”

January 11, 2017| 12pm | Mills Hall 132

tiffany-higginsTiffany Higgins is a poet, writer, and translator. Her chapbook of translations from Portuguese of Rio poet Alice Sant’Anna’s poetry, “Tail of the Whale,” was published by Toad Press in 2016. Her translations and poems have appeared in Poetry and other journals. She is the author of “The Apparition at Fort Bragg” (2016), an e-chapbook, winner of the Iron Horse Literary Review e-single contest for a long poem, selected by Camille Dungy, available free at Her book “And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet” (Carolina Wren Press, 2009) was selected by Evie Shockley as winner of the Carolina Wren Poetry Prize. She is currently translating poems by Afro-Brazilian poets as well as writing on threats to indigenous and traditional communities in Brazil’s Amazon. To read more, please visit


Dick Cluster Presents “Somebody Else’s Voice: Literary Translation and the ‘Practical’ Kind”

January 12, 2017| 12pm | Mills Hall 132

dc2Dick Cluster is the author of the novels Return to SenderRepulse Monkey, and Obligations of the Bone as well as (with Rafael Hernández) History of Havana, a social history of the Cuban capital. He has translated a wide range of contemporary Cuban fiction writers including Raúl Águiar, Aida Bahr, Josefina de Diego, Pedro de Jesús, Mylene Fernández, Leonardo Padura, Abel Prieto, and Mirta Yáñez, as well as writing from Mexico, South America, and Spain.


January 2017 Translation Festival

The Mills College MFA in Translation is pleased to announce the events for our January 2017 Translation Festival!

The Translation Festival is a semi-annual event that concludes he winter and summer residencies for our MFA in Translation program. In addition to the Translation Festival, we are also hosting several readings and academic lectures that are free and open to the public.

All of the events listed are free and open to the public. Translation experience is not required.

Friday, January 13th: Public Conversation with Katrina Dodson and Carolina de Robertis

In this public conversation, PEN award-winning translator Katrina Dodson will talk with award-winning novelist Carolina de Robertis about life as a translator.

6pm | Mills College Living Room

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

For more information and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page.

Saturday, January 14th: Translation Death Match

The Translation Death match is a fun event where translators, both emerging and established, go head-to-head reading their most compelling work. Our judges will evaluate them based on their literary merit and presentation prowess.

Winners will receive awesome prizes!

If you are interested in participating in this event, email us at

6pm | The Octopus Literary Salon

2101 Webster St., Oakland, CA 94612

For more information and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page.

Sunday, January 15th: One-Day Translation Technology Workshop

Max Troyer presents “An Introduction to Translation Technology.” A great innovator in translation technology reveals the secrets to mastering the machines!

12pm | Mills Hall Room 135

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Sunday, January 15th: Public Conversation with Cristina Garcia and Achy Obejas

Cristina Garcia, one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary literature, talks about her adventures being translated with Achy Obejas.

6pm | Mills Hall Living Room

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

For more information about our readers and to RSVP, check out our Facebook event page.

January Academic Lectures and Literary Events

January is almost here! The MFA in Translation program at Mills College is ringing in 2017 with a week of fantastic, translation-themed events.

All of these events are free and open to the public. Fluency is not required!

Literary Events

Monday, January 9th: Bilingual Reading

ali-eA mix of stunning, award-winning authors will read their work in English and in translation. This reading will feature Ali Eteraz, Mateo Hoke, Achy Obejas, Carlota Caulfield, & Hugo García Manríquez.

Mills Hall Living Room | Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

For more information and to RSVP, see our Facebook event.

Wednesday, January 11th: Translators Linguistic Showcase


Carolyn Tipton 04-02-16 548a

Carolyn Tipton

At this reading, group of local translators will read their work in translation, some in the original language. Our featured readers are Dan Bellm, Carolyn Tipton, Tiffany Higgins, Andrea Lingenfelter, Dick Cluster.

Mills Hall Living Room | Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

For more information and to RSVP, see our Facebook event.

Monday, January 16th: From Mandalay to the Bay: Burmese and Burmese American Writers

maw-shein-win“Renowned poet,ko ko thett, will be making a rare appearance in the Bay Area to celebrate his latest book, The Burden of Being Burmese (Zephyr). He is also the co-editor of Bones Will Crow: Fifteen Contemporary Burmese Poets (Northern Illinois University Press). He will be joined by Bay Area authors, poets, and translators, Htet Yi Linn, Khin Thiri Nandar Soe, Audrey T. Williams, Maw Shein Win, and Kenneth Wong.”

Alley Cat Books, San Francisco

Check out the Facebook event page.


Tuesday, January 10th: Translator Talk 1

dan-bellmTranslator Dan Bellm presents “Double Takes: Reading Multiple Translations of Poetry and Prose”

12pm | Mills Hall Room 132

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Check out our Facebook event page.

Wednesday, January 11th: Translator Talk 2

tiffany-higginsTranslator Tiffany Higgins presents “Social Advocacy in the Selection of Texts to be Translated: Listening to the Sea of Afro-Brazilian Poetry”

12pm | Mills Hall Room 132

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Check out our Facebook event page.

Thursday, January 12th: Translator Talk 3

dc2Translator Dick Cluster presents “Somebody Else’s Voice: Literary Translation and the ‘Practical’ Kind”

12pm | Mills Hall Room 132

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Check out our Facebook event page.


All of the lectures take place on the Mills College campus.


One-Day Introduction to Translation Technology



Fluency not necessary!

The Workshop:


Join us for a close, fun and innovative look at the technology revolution underway in the translation and localization industries. In this half-day workshop, Max Troyer, translation and localization consultant and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), will introduce participants to some powerful, free, easy-to-use translation and localization applications. What tools do translators use to do their jobs? How are websites, mobile apps and subtitles translated? This workshop will answer these questions and more. Get hands on experience! Bring your laptop!


The Details:

Sunday, January 15th from 12pm to 4pm

Mills Hall Room 135

Mills College | 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613 

The Instructor:


Max has more than 15 years of experience in the technology, language and consulting industries. He has worked in a wide variety of functions both freelance and in-house, including project management, localization engineering, multilingual layout (DTP), training, technical support and process/workflow consulting. In addition to being an Assistant Professor and the Program Coordinator for the Translation and Localization Management program, he is a freelance translation and localization consultant, providing service to translation agencies, software developers and manufacturers.

For more information, contact us at

Multilingual Reading Under the Stars

The Mills College MFA in Translation presents a multilingual reading on Saturday, October 8th at 7pm in the Greek Theater on the Mills College campus as part of the 2016 ALTA Conference.

Join us for a night of great literature from renowned local authors in multiple languages. Whether you speak a dozen languages or one, this is sure to be a fun night for lovers of words.

The MFA in Translation is a low-residency program that trains emerging translators in the art of literary and practical translation in two years. It is the only program of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Greek Theater is located behind the Littlefield Concert Hall at 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, California 94613.

Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Transportation from the ALTA Conference site will take 15-20 minutes and cost $15-20 through uberX, even less with ride shares.

Our readers include:

Achy Obejas

Achy Obejas is the author of the critically acclaimed novels RuinsDays of Awe, and three other books of fiction. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life, was both a critical favorite and a best-seller. She edited and translated, into English, Havana Noir, a collection of crime stories by Cuban writers on and off the island. Her other translations include Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao / La Breve y Maravillosa Vida de Óscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her/ Así es como la pierdes, Papi by Rita Indiana and Everyone Leaves by Wendy Guerra. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation. She currently serves as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College. In summer 2016, Mills debuted its low-residency MFA in translation, a program conceived by Achy, which she co-directs.


Micheline Marcom

Micheline Aharonian Marcom was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and raised in Los Angeles.  She has published five novels, including a trilogy of books about the Armenian genocide and its aftermath in the twentieth century.  She has received fellowships and awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the US Artists’ Foundation. Her first novel, Three Apples Fell From Heaven, was a New York Times Notable Book and Runner-Up for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction.  Her second novel, The Daydreaming Boy, won the PEN/USA Award for Fiction.  In 2008, Marcom taught in Beirut, Lebanon on a Fulbright Fellowship.  Marcom lives in Northern California where she teaches Creative Writing at Mills College.  She is also on faculty at Goddard College in the MFA program in Creative Writing.


Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win is a Burmese American poet, editor, and educator who lives and works in the Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in various journals, including Cimarron Review, FanzineEleven Eleven, the Fabulist, and the anthology Cross-StrokesPoetry Between Los Angeles and San Francisco (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions).  Ruins of a glittering palace, her collaborative chapbook, with paintings by Mark Dutcher, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects. She is a poetry editor for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks and an instructor at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito. Her most recent book, Score and Bone, will be published by Nomadic Press in September 2016.


Patricia Powell

Patricia Powell was born in Jamaica and moved with her family to the United States in 1982. She is the award winning author of three novels including A Small Gathering of Bones and The Pagoda. She is currently Chair of the Creative Writing MFA and Associate Professor of English at Mills College in California.


Katrina Dodson

Katrina Dodson is the translator of The Complete Stories, by Clarice Lispector, winner of the 2016 PEN Translation Prize and a Northern California Book Award. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Dodson has written for Guernica, McSweeney’s, and The Millions, and her translations have appeared in Granta, Harper’s, and elsewhere.


Juliana Spahr

Juliana Spahr’s most recent book is  That Winter the Wolf Came from Commune Editions.


Carolina De Robertis

Carolina De Robertis is the internationally bestselling author of The Gods of Tango, Perla, and The Invisible Mountain. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have been named Best Books of the Year in venues including the San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, BookList, and NBC. She is the recipient of a Stonewall Book Award, Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. She is also an award-winning translator of Latin American literature, including Alejandro Zambra’s Bonsai, which has been made into a feature film, and Roberto Ampuero’s The Neruda Case.

De Robertis, a writer of Uruguayan origins, grew up in England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her first book, she worked in women’s rights organizations for ten years, on issues ranging from rape to immigration. She makes her home in Oakland, California where she’s working on her fourth novel.


Early Application Gift and Exciting Partnerships

Mills MFA in Translation partners with Center for the Art of Translation & Akashic Books for Early Admissions Rewards!

Mills College’s MFA in Translation Winter 2017 application deadline is October 15 but if you apply by September 20, we will send you a FREE book in translation from San Francisco’s Center for the Art of Translation or Akashic Books, both award-winning presses with a strong commitment to publishing translated works.

Apply by our Early Admissions deadline of September 15 and, as our Welcome to the MFA gift, we will send a book published by our literary partners. 

The Center for the Art of Translation champions literary translation. The Center’s publications, events, and educational programming enrich the library of vital literary works, nurture and promote the work of translators, build audiences for literature in translation, and honor the incredible linguistic and cultural diversity of our schools and our world. The Center’s cornerstone is the bi-annual journal Two Lines, which showcases outstanding literature in translation. Issue 25 features exceptional work by writers such as Kim Hyesoon, Emmanuel Moses, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Enrique Vila-Matas in translations from Don Mee Choi, Marilyn Hacker, Charlotte Mandell, and Margaret Jull Costa, among others. 

Akashic Books is a Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers. Akashic books in translation include works by Arnaldo Correa, Salar Abdoh, Wieslaw Mysliski and the much lauded global noir series. 

To apply to the Mills MFA in Translation, go to The application portal will open on September 1st. 

For more information and to ask questions, reach out to us at

Summer 2016 Translation Festival

In June 2016, we held our inaugural Translation Festival! Our first event was a dynamic public conversation between Dick Cluster and program co-director Carlota Caulfield. They discussed trends in the field, tricky translation problems, Cuban literature, and so much more. Then, program co-director Achy Obejas and other renowned translators read from their work and discussed the joys and challenges of being a translator. Finally, we joined the Hundy at E.M. Wolfman where giovanni singleton, García Manríquez, Elana Chavez, Geraldine Kim, and other fabulous local poets read some of their favorite poems in English and their original languages. We had a fantastic time at these events and look forward to our next Translation Festival, which occurs at the end of each residency.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Emerging Translator Mentorship Opportunity

This year Writers’ Centre Norwich is offering mentorships to emerging translators. For six months, experienced translators work with emerging translators on practical translation projects.

According to the ALTA Blog, “Participants will also receive:

  • A £500 bursary and reasonable travel expenses
  •  Access to industry events such as International Translation Day and London Book Fair through showcase events.

The Emerging Translator Mentorships have a positive track record of guiding emerging translators towards their first commercial publication.

We are seeking emerging translators in the following languages to work with our established mentors (including several members of ALTA!):

  • Arabic (mentor: Paul Starkey)
  • Bengali (mentor: Arunava Sinha)
  • Catalan (mentor: Peter Bush)
  • Hindi (mentor: Jason Grunebaum)
  • Finland Swedish (mentor: Sarah Death)
  • Norwegian – in conjunction with the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize* (mentor: Don Bartlett)
  • Polish (mentor: Antonia Lloyd-Jones)
  • Russian – poetry and drama (mentor: Sasha Dugdale).”


The deadline is July 30, 2016. For more information and to apply, see their website here.