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Front Quad, The Queen's College
The Translation Exchange supports regular residencies in Oxford for a translator, or for a writer/poet and their translator. The residency is an opportunity for the visitors to work and collaborate, but also to deliver masterclasses, workshops and talks, interacting with students and the public.

The Visible Translator: Polly Barton in Oxford, 2022-23

The Translation Exchange is thrilled to be developing a brand new residency this year, in partnership with Daniel Hahn, Ros Schwartz, and the Stephen Spender Trust. 

In 2022/23, the award-winning writer and translator Polly Barton joins us as a Humanities Cultural Programme Visiting Fellow. Hosted by the Queen’s College Translation Exchange, Polly will deliver events with students, researchers and public audiences centred on the theme of the “The Visible Translator”. Making acts of translation visible and accessible to new audiences, the residency aims to encourage interdisciplinary, dynamic and creative thinking around translation across the Humanities and beyond.

As a Visiting Fellow, Polly will facilitate workshops and seminars designed to raise the profile of translation as a shared critical practice across the university and expand opportunities for future collaboration and research. 

Central to the residency is a move beyond the university. Partnering with local schools, museums and other cultural organisations, Polly will develop a range of innovative and participatory public-facing activities, including a “Translating Comics” workshop and translation duels, designed to make the translation process visible and interactive.  

The residency forms part of a new national translator-in-residence scheme, developed by a range of partners across the UK and led by translators Daniel Hahn OBE and Ros Schwartz. The scheme is set to run in a consortium of Universities and Literature Development Agencies, including Durham and Aston Universities, New Writing North and Writing West Midlands. The pilot in Oxford contributes to the development of a sustainable national model for future translation residencies, and supports efforts across the UK to diversify curricula, research and literary translation.

Polly Barton is a critically-acclaimed writer and translator of Japanese literature and non-fiction. In 2019, she was awarded the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize for her non-fiction debut Fifty Sounds (Fitzcarraldo Editions/Liveright). Her recent translations include Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Pushkin Press, 2017), There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura (Bloomsbury, 2020), and So We Look to the Sky by Misumi Kubo (Arcade, 2021). In 2021, she won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection for her translation of Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda (Tilted Axis Press/Soft Skull Press, 2020).

The Translation Exchange was supported by a TORCH Micro-Fund Grant to develop the scheme in Oxford. The residency is run in partnership with the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages (Oxford). 



Previous Residencies

2021: Korean with Bora Chung and Anton Hur

Korean author Bora Chung and translator Anton Hur were the Translation Exchange residents 2021. Information about the events is below, and all the recordings can be viewed here: Watch on YouTube

The residency was kindly supported by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

Monday 24 May  -  Public translation workshop Part 1: Discussion of translation and introduction to the workshop   

Anton Hur discussed "what makes literary translation different from other translation?" and presented a short translation assignment for the second workshop on June 2.

Watch on YouTube

Thursday 27 May  -  A Public Reading of the Work of Bora Chung in Translation  

Bora Chung and Anton Hur read from CURSED BUNNY, both in Korean and English, and from works in other languages. The readings were followed by a Q&A.   

Watch on YouTube

Monday 31 May  -  A Conversation Between Author and Translator: Anton and Bora

A pre-recorded conversation between Bora Chung and Anton Hur about their work and the translation process they undertake together.

Watch on YouTube

Monday 31 May - Talk convened by OCCT: The Curse of Knowledge: The Translator as Perpetual Student

Wednesday 2 June  -  Public translation workshop Part 2

Anton led a workshop on translations submitted after the May 24 event (workshop part 1).

Watch on YouTube

Thursday 3 June  -  Masterclass in Korean Literature Translation

Students of Korean at Oxford University took part in a special masterclass on Korean literary translation with Anton Hur.  


Anton Hur was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the English translator of several Korean authors including Kyung-Sook Shin, Bora Chung, Sang Young Park, and Jeon Sam-hye, as well as the Korean translator of Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Anton was educated at the Korea University College of Law and Seoul National University Graduate School and has taught at the Ewha University Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation and Yonsei University. He divides his time between Seoul and Songdo, Korea.

Bora Chung is a writer of strange and unrealistic stories. She has an M.A. in Russian and East European area studies from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Slavic literatures from Indiana University, with specializations in modern Russian, Polish, and utopian literatures. Chung currently teaches Russian language and literature and science fiction studies at Yonsei University in South Korea and translates modern literary works from Russian and Polish into Korean. She has published three novels and three books of collected short stories. She made her English-language debut with the short story “The Head” published in Samovar/Strange Horizons and her first English book, titled Cursed Bunny, is forthcoming in the UK from Honford Star in July 2021.



2020: Russian with Galina Rymbu and Helena Kernan

We were delighted to welcome Russian poet Galina Rymbu and translator Helena Kernan to Queen’s from 24 February to 15 March 2020, in association with Pushkin House. You can read Helena's blog about the residency here.



Helena and Galina took part in the following events:

Thursday 5th March (W7): Translation Workshop with Helena Kernan and Galina Rymbu 

The Memorial Room, The Queen’s College, 6.45pm - 8.15pm

Tuesday 10th March (W8): Reading with Galina Rymbu and Helena Kernan 

Hall, Taylorian Institution (St Giles), 5.15-6.45pm

Thursday 12th March (W8): Russian sub-faculty event with Galina Rymbu and Helena Kernan 

47 Wellington Square, Ground Floor Lecture Room 2, 5pm - 6.30pm

Galina Rymbu is a poet, critic, translator, journalist, curator, philosopher and feminist. Born in Omsk, Russia in 1990, she now lives in Lviv, Ukraine. She graduated from the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow and also studied at the European University in St Petersburg. She edits an online journal dedicated to feminist literary theory, F-Pismo. Her poems have been translated into English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Greek, Ukrainian, Spanish, Latvian, Romanian, Swedish and Polish. She has been published in journals including The New literary Review (Russia) Воздух (Russia), Translit (Russia), N+1, Arc Poetry, The White ReviewBerlin Quarterly, Music&LiteraturePunctumHelikopter, Círculode poesíaAsymptote and Powder Keg. Her poetry collections include ‘Передвижное пространство переворота’ (Арго-риск, 2014), WhiteBread (NY, After Hours LTD, 2016), ‘Времяземли’ (Харьков,изд-воkntxt, 2018), ‘Жизньвпространстве’ (Москва,изд-во«Новоелитературноеобозрение», 2018), Kosmiskais prospekts (Латвия, Ozolnieki: Literature Without Borders, 2018), Tijd van de aarde (Амстердам, UitgeverijPerdu, 2019). Rymbu also translates poetry from Ukrainian into Russian.

Helena Kernan graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016 with a BA in Russian and French. Since then, she has lived in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv, where she has worked with a documentary theatre collective, the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Helena translates contemporary poetry from Russian into English and is the English-language editor of the online historical memory platform Imprisoned Youth. Her translation of ‘Only You, Chechnya’ by Elena Kostyleva was published in the journal Modern Poetry in Translation in 2017. She is currently a graduate student in Slavic Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley, where she is working on contemporary poetry, post-socialist memory and performance art in the Russian-speaking world.

2019: Galician with Erín Moure and Chus Pato

The 2019 residents were the Canadian poet and translator Erín Moure and the Galician poet Chus Pato. Pato is one of the major Galician poets writing today, and Moure has translated several volumes of her poetry into English, including At the Limit (2018).

Following the residency, the two poets worked with Modern Poetry in Translation magazine to launch an online translation workshop:

The itinerary for the residency included the following events:

Monday 4 November, 12.45 – 2 pmOCCT lunchtime Discussion Group with Erín Moure in Seminar Room 10, St Anne's College. By invitation through the OCCT Discussion Group.

Thursday 7 November: Advanced translation masterclass with Erín Moure at Queen's College, welcoming undergraduate students of Advanced Translation. 

Monday 11 November, 5.15 – 6.45 pm: Multilingual translation workshop with Erín Moure in the Memorial Room at Queen's College, in conjunction with Poets Translating Poets. 

Thursday 14 November, 5.15 - 6.45 pm: Joint event with Erín Moure and Chus Pato, focusing on their collaborative work, in the Shulman Auditorium at Queen's College. 

Chus Pato
Erin Moure
Galina Rymbu
Helena Kernan
Galina Rymbu
Galina Rymbu