About this Conference and Conversation Series

Watch the video for this conversation below:

Join us for Week 4 of Translating the Future as we continue our series of conversations between renowned translators with "Children’s Literature in Translation," featuring Lawrence Schimel in conversation with Daniel Hahn. Moderated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.

Translators of children's literature—always read by both adults and children—face various unique challenges, including the potential for bi- or multilingualism, the incorporation of illustrations, and differing cultural taboos or views of what is and isn't appropriate for children. Many classics of children's literature (The Little Prince, Pippi Longstockings, the Grimm & Andersen fairy tales, etc.) are read in translation, even if they're not treated as such the way adult books in translation would be. Are translators of works for children "translating for the future" by helping them to develop empathy and learn about other cultures in our globally connected world, or are they simply sharing universal stories full of delight and emotion that hopefully create lifelong readers?

Click here to register for this event and for the link to the livestream. Free and open to the public, the livestream will start at Tue, June 2nd, at 1:30 PM (EDT).

The conversations will be hosted by Esther Allen & Allison Markin Powell. *Viewers can submit questions during the livestreaming at [email protected].

Speaker Bios:

Lawrence Schimel (photo by Nieves Guerra).

Lawrence Schimel writes in both Spanish and English and has published over one hundred twenty books as author or anthologist, in a wide range of genres, including fiction, poetry, graphic novels & children’s literature. He's won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, a White Raven, and the Lambda Literary Award (twice), among many other honors and awards. His translations into Spanish include the graphic novel They Called us Enemy by George Takei and picture book Millions of Cats by Wanda Gàg; his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos, children's poetry collection Poems the wind blew in by Karmelo C. Iribarren (winner of a PEN Translates Award from English PEN), and YA novel La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono (Global Literature in Libraries Best Translated YA Award Honor Title).

Daniel Hahn (photo by John Lawrence).

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with about seventy books to his name. He is has been co-editor of a series of reading guides for children and teenagers, and in 2015 published a new edition of The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. His translations (from Portuguese, Spanish and French) include a wide range of books for young readers, from picture-books to young adult novels.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann (photo by Joan Heffler).

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the former editor-in-chief of MultiCultural Review and editor of Once Upon a Cuento, a collection of short stories for children by Latinx authors. She has three published novels for children and teens — the award-winning YA novel Gringolandia, its companion Surviving Santiago, and the pioneering own voices novel Rogue, for middle grade readers. Her historical novels MOONWALKING, a middle grade verse novel co-authored with Zetta Elliott, and TORCH, for YA readers, are forthcoming in 2021. She has translated picture books, middle grade novels, and screenplays from Portuguese and Spanish to English and is currently co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee. She reviews books for multiple publications and blogs at www.lynmillerlachmann.com.


WEEK 1: Tue, May 12, 1:30 p.m. (EDT):

From 1970 to 2020: Translation Transformations

David Bellos in conversation with Karen Emmerich (with snippets from the original audio archive of the World of Translation conference).

WEEK 2: Tue, May 19th 1:30 p.m. (EDT):

Translating the Uncertain Present

Madhu Kaza in conversation with Lina Mounzer.

WEEK 3: Tue, May 26th 1:30 p.m. (EDT):

Global Ecopoetics: Poetry, Translation, Climate Change & Public Health

Forrest Gander in conversation with Raquel Salas Rivera.

WEEK 4: Tue, June 2nd 1:30 p.m. (EDT):

Translating for the Future: Children’s Literature in Translation

Lawrence Schimel in conversation with Daniel Hahn, and moderated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.

Visit Translating The Future page here for the complete conference Program, video recordings of previous events in this series, as well as archival audio recordings, articles, the original program, and more history from PEN's 1970 World of Translation conference.

This conference and conversation series is co-sponsored by PEN America, the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, with additional support from the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.