Our Visible Communities programme aims to:

  • Diversify access routes to literary translation
  • Strengthen links between the literary translation community and diaspora communities in the UK
  • Contribute to the debate around decolonising literary translation
  • Expand the range of literature published in translation

Through Visible Communities, National Centre for Writing is offering a range of professional development opportunities to UK-based Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse literary translators, and literary translators working from heritage, diaspora and community languages.

Residencies

Events

Watch a range of Meet the World events featuring Visible Communities translators, below.

In 2023, we are supporting Literature Must Fall and Kavita Bhanot to run Jaag, a Punjabi Literature Festival in Birmingham.

In 2024, we will be partnering with the Poetry Translation Centre on a showcase event to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Opportunities

Emerging Translator Mentorships 22/23

Visible Communities is one place on the Emerging Literary Translator Mentorships Programme 22/23, for a literary translator who is either Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse or are working from heritage, diaspora and community languages of the UK. They will be mentored by Meena Kandasamy.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Emerging Translator Mentorship programme was founded by Daniel Hahn in 2010 with the aim of developing successive new cohorts of literary translators into English, particularly for languages whose literature is currently under-represented in English translation.

The scheme matches up experienced translators with emerging translators for a six-month period during which they work together on practical translation projects, developing their craft through working on a chosen text or texts. Read more

Commissions & resources

Podcasts with translators in residence

Guides to Norwich UNESCO City of Literature by translators in residence

Articles by translators in residence

Violent Phenomena

21 Essays on Translation

Published by Tilted Axis Press

Edited by Dr. Kavita Bhanot and Jeremy Tiang

Frantz Fanon wrote in 1961 that ‘Decolonisation is always a violent phenomenon,’ meaning that the violence of colonialism can only be counteracted in kind. As colonial legacies linger today, what are the ways in which we can disentangle literary translation from its roots in imperial violence? 21 writers and translators from across the world share their ideas and practices for disrupting and decolonising translation.

Contributors including Khairani Barokka, Anton Hur, Monchoachi (tr. Eric Fishman), Layla Benitez-James, Eluned Gramich, Hamid Roslan, Lúcia Collischonn, Sawad Hussain, Aaron Robertson, Elisa Taber, Tiffany Tsao, Yogesh Maitreya, Shushan Avagyan, Onaiza Drabu, Sofia Rehman, Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi, and Sandra Tamele.

This title will publish on 28 July 2022.

Supported by the Jan Michalski Foundation as part of Visible Communities.

Read more

Our work with young people

Multilingual Creators

Multilingual Creators is a creative translation training programme led by the Stephen Spender Trust, the UK’s leading charity for multilingual creativity in schools. It is a partnership with the Stephen Spender TrustNew Writing NorthComma Press and the National Centre for Writing.

We recruited 12 translators and writers who are based in or around three target areas — Newcastle upon Tyne, Greater Manchester, and Norwich — to participate in a paid training programme in June and July 2021. Having completed the training programme, participants were invited to apply to deliver a blended course of workshops for young people in their region on the theme of ‘Me and My City’. These courses took place in autumn 2021.

Multilingual Creators builds on over a decade of education programmes at the Stephen Spender Trust, comprising Translation Nation, Translators in Schools and Creative Translation in the Classroom. To find out more about our work, please visit stephen-spender.org and multilingualcreativity.org.uk.

Multilingual Creators: Me and My City is a partnership between the Stephen Spender Trust, National Centre for Writing, New Writing North and Comma Press. It is co-funded by these organisations, Arts Council England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Our partners

The Translators Association and the Society of Authors have published a statement on racial equality in literary translation, with recommended reading and a list of initiatives aimed at inclusion and equitable access to literary translation and publishing.

We would like to thank Arts Council England for supporting the Visible Communities programme, the British Centre for Literary Translation for collaboration on the BCLT Summer School, the Stephen Spender Trust for Multilingual Creators, the Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust for supporting residencies at Dragon Hall, and the Jan Michalski Foundation for their support for the Tilted Axis Press anthology and our virtual residencies.

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