About this reading and discussion

Please join us for “Translation is a Zone” an interdisciplinary reading of translated poetry and fiction, followed by a discussion with translators Laura Muñoz, Mark He, and Jonathan Woollen, moderated by Coco Fitterman.

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Laura Muñoz aka Chucha is a student at CUNY and a musician based in Brooklyn. Muñoz will be reading from her translation of the short story “Death on the Street” (“La muerte en la calle”) by Colombian novelist, poet, and journalist José Félix Fuenmayor. Along with Gabriel García Márquez, Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, Germán Vargas, and Alfonso Fuenmayor, José Félix Fuenmayor was part of the Barranquilla Group in Colombia in the middle of the twentieth century. “Death on the Street,” which has not been translated into English before, follows an unnamed protagonist, who is often in a state of rumination, and who welcomes the reader to witness private moments of confusion and alienation through his soliloquies. After the death of his mother, he is abandoned by his uncle and left to survive alone as a child. He takes refuge in the streets and is proud of the handsome fellows that provide him with money.

Mark He is an artist, poet (translator), and statistician living in Queens. He will be reading recent translations of poems by the Chinese poet Xuanyuan Shike. Born in Linyi, Shandong, in 1971, Xuanyuan Shike was one of the founders of the chapbook Between in 1999, and in the early twenty-first century he was a part of the “Lower Body Poets” movement. He has been anthologised numerous times, both in China and abroad, and has won various literary prizes. His works include the poetry collections Watching Rain in the Mortal World, Carrying Pulley Blocks, and Hiding an Ocean.

Jonathan Woollen is a French-to-English translator originally from North Carolina. He currently works in marketing at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and previously led the in-store author event program at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC. Woollen will be reading an excerpt from a French novel he has been translating called Francis Rissin, the 2019 debut novel from author Martin Mongin. The novel is made up of eleven documents that claim to tell the story of a phenomenon wherein the name "Francis Rissin" starts appearing, without any context, on posters all over France. Cult of personality, civil unrest, artistic and political intrigues, joy and pain all ensue. Francis Rissin might not even be a real person, and none of the stories in these eleven documents actually sync up with one another. The whole thing might be a Situationist game or maybe a neo-nationalist messianic project, but who's to tell?

Coco Sofia Fitterman is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Provence Magazine, Brand-New-Life, Tripwire Journal, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry chapbook Say It With Flowers was published by Inpatient Press in 2017. She is currently a Ph.D. student of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College, as well as the Managing Editor of the student-run magazine The Advocate and an Events Fellow at Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. She co-organizes the event series REVERIE, and runs a blog on experimental poetry:https://oerpoetics.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

This event is co-hosted by REVERIE, housed in the Department of Comparative Literature and the CUNY Graduate Center, and Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.

REVERIE is a monthly event series coordinated by students in the Department of Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Inviting affiliated faculty and guest speakers from broad areas of interdisciplinary practices, REVERIE provides a platform for reflection and public discourse on poetry, innovative fiction, critical theory and philosophy, independent publishing, and translation.

Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative publishes unexpected, genre-bending works by important 20th-century writers.