Elizabeth Bryer

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust 24 Apr 2017

Elizabeth Bryer

Receiving a Cultural Trust grant assisted Elizabeth Bryer in attending the Bread Loaf Translators' Conference (including the Prose Translation Workshop) at Middlebury College, Ripton, Vermont, USA.

Elizabeth Bryer’s literary career is woven with two mutually sustaining threads: literary translation and creative writing.

Elizabeth’s passion for Spanish-English translation has seen her publish translations for a number of works by the Peruvian writer Claudia Salazar Jiménez, most recently her debut novel La sangre de la aurora (Blood of the Dawn), through Deep Vellum Publishing (North America). Her essays and short fiction have also been widely featured in publications, including The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings and Sydney Review of Books.

To nurture her translation work, she has recently been awarded a grant to attend the Middlebury Bread Loaf Translators' Conference in the USA, which includes a small focused Prose Translation workshop coupled with lectures and classes focusing on the art of literary translation.

In 2017, the Translation Manuscript Workshop just so happened to be taught by her all-time favourite translator, Esther Allen, who also happens to specialise in Elizabeth’s specific language combination (Spanish-English).

Elizabeth originally intended to use this workshop as an opportunity to workshop her translation of Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s Americas Prize-winning La sangre de la aurora (Blood of the Dawn), however her translation was published sooner than expected, which allowed Elizabeth to workshop her draft translation of Aleksandra Lun’s The Palimpsests instead. Not only did the workshop afford her the chance to receive direct and concrete feedback on a manuscript of her choosing, from a world-class literary translator and competitively selected peers, it also introduced Elizabeth to a like-minded community of translators, and exposed her work to international publisher scouts and editors.

The workshop in particular affirmed Elizabeth’s excitement about her translation of Aleksandra Lun’s The Palimpsests, an enthusiasm that was, encouragingly, very much confirmed by the reactions of her peers and her workshop leader to her translation in progress, as well as the high level of interest it received from the editors present.

Following the conference, Elizabeth was awarded an America PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant to complete her translation of The Palimpsests.