Literary text reading at Last Exit Books


Carol Maier reads Nuria Amat’s unfaithful translations of Emily Dickinson at the Last Exit Bookstore during the literary text reading Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 held by Kent State’s translations studies program.

Alyssa Schmitt

The sound of foreign tongues bounced off the bookshelves at the Last Exit Bookstore in downtown Kent during a literary text reading in a variety of languages Tuesday night.

Students, faculty and community members said they were excited to listen to the multiple translations gathered in the back of the bookstore.

Hannelore Gomez, a student in the translation program, said she was eager to see her professors and fellow classmates speak in the program.

“We’ve got a great roster of translators reading their work,” said Brian Baer, program manager and professor of Russian translation studies. “We’ve got all different languages. We have Polish, German, Spanish and Russian.”

There were eight readers in the program including Geoff Koby, who read and translated an excerpt of a German poem called, “Stubblefire.”

Koby found this event to have a great amount of value in more than one way.

“It’s a chance to publicly raise awareness about translations and how there’s literature that’s not originally written in English that’s valuable and interesting,” Koby said.

Being able to translate what people are writing all around the world is important for the global community, but Baer also wanted the event to, “celebrate translation as an art form.”

The reading of translated literary texts wasn’t just an event planned for any day. Sept. 30 is ‘international translation day’, which is on St. Jerome’s birthday,” said Baer. St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew to English.

Kent State’s translation studies was excited to celebrate this day because Kent has one of the largest translation training programs in the U.S., said Baer.

“We have one of the only Ph. D. programs in translation studies,” said Baer.

A roaring applause followed each reading and Baer said it was a, “good way to celebrate national translation day.” 

Contact Alyssa Schmitt at [email protected].