Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation

Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation brings together writers and their translators in front of an audience, providing a unique opportunity to experience author and translator reading from the text and in conversation, and allowing a fascinating insight into the working relationship between the two as well as the practical and theoretical aspects of translation. Translation competitions and workshops are organised from time to time to complement the conversations. The events provide an opportunity to engage with texts in German and in English and can be enjoyed by an audience with little or no knowledge of German as well as those competent in both languages.  

Encounters are held in London or Nottingham, are open to all wishing to attend and are usually free of charge. The events are run by the Institute of Modern Languages Research (University of London School of Advanced Study) in conjunction with the University of Nottingham.

Organisers: Dr Heike Bartel (Department of German Studies, University of Nottingham); Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR, London)

The Encounters series is sponsored by the Keith Spalding Trust (University of London, IMLR)


Next Encounters

Andrea Grill and Tess Lewis - POSTPONED 
London, 22 April 2020 - 19:00 at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London SW7 1PQ

This Encounter brings together Andrea Grill and Tess Lewis who will read and discuss extracts from Das Paradies des Doktor Caspari (2015) and Cherubino (2019).

Andrea Grill is a writer, evolutionary biologist, and translator from Albanian, Italian and Dutch. She is an award-winning author of novels, essays and poems and was able to successfully combine artistic and scientific modes of investigation in her book Schmetterlinge. Ein Portrait. Her latest novels Das Paradies des Doktor Caspari and Cherubino were published in 2015 and 2019.

Tess Lewis is a widely acclaimed translator from German and French, including works by Austrian authors Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Julya Rabinowich, and Doron Rabinovici. Her translation of Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion, was awarded the 2017 PEN Translation Prize.

This Encounter is organised and sponsored by the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature & Culture

Participation free, but advance online booking essential: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/21330

Andrea Grill and Tess Lewis
Author Andrea Grill (© Andrea Grill) and Translator Tess Lewis (© Sarah Shatz)












Grimm Encounters: Ulrike Almut Sandig and Karen Leeder on New Takes on the Fairy Tales - POSTPONED
Nottingham, 6 May 2020, 13:00 - 16:00 - at the University of Nottingham (Room A21, Trent Building)

Fairy tales have fascinated readers, listeners and story-tellers for centuries, and still resonate in their old and new forms today. In particular, the folk tales collected by the German Brothers Grimm in Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen, 1812/1815) have shaped our notion of fairy tales. Their widely known, popular and often ‘Disneyfied’ stories such as Aschenputtel (Cinderella)Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty) or Schneewittchen (Snow White) have, however, largely lost what made the original folk tales ‘grimm’, dark, fierce, and even ferocious. German poet Ulrike Almut Sandig has taken these well- and some lesser-known tales and given them back their fierceness, turning them into short poems that reveal new and old violence, political threats, abuse of authority, or query the role of women or foreigners in society. Her translator and accomplished poet in her own right, Karen Leeder has translated Sandig’s texts into English in a way that does not only do their linguistic style, rhythm and musicality justice, but also honours their underlying intention not to stand still, but to evolve and ask new and relevant questions for our time. Following on from Rachel Palfreyman’s talk on how fairy tales have been interpreted entitled ‘The Uses of Fairy Tales: Enchanting Ideologies and Radical Transformations’, Sandig and Leeder read/perform the poems in German and English for an audience of German and non-German speakers, staff, students, pupils, teachers and the public to enjoy. This is followed by Sandig and Leeder discussing and taking questions from the audience on ideas related to old and new versions of the fairy tales. The ‘Encounter’ will be introduced and chaired by Heike Bartel.

Ulrike Almut Sandig is an award-winning author and poet. Born in the former GDR, she now lives with her family and dog, Tui, in Berlin, and travels all over the world reading and writing. Her poetry cycle Grimm was published as part of a collection of her poems entitled Ich bin ein Feld voller Raps verstecke die Rehe und leuchte wie dreizehn Ölgemälde übereinandergelegt [I am a field full of rapeseed, give cover to deer and shine like thirteen oil paintings laid one on top of the other] (Frankfurt/M.: Schöffling, 2016). Karen Leeder is a poet, translator, and Professor of Modern German Literature at New College, Oxford. Her translation of Sandig’s Grimm, with illustrations by Beth Sparks, and edited by Shoshana Kessler and Alice O’Donoghue, was published by Hurst Street Press, Oxford, in  2018. Rachel Palfreyman is Associate Professor in German Studies at the University of Nottingham and teaches a module on fairy tales. Heike Bartel is Associate Professor in German Studies at the University of Nottingham and is co-organiser of the Encounters series with Godela Weiss-Sussex at the IMLR, University of London.

All are welcome to participate. No knowledge of German or fairy tales needed. Attendance is free, but online registration required  at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grimm-encounters-tickets-97302754157?aff=ebdssbeac