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«What Do We Translate?» – Group residency for Latin American literary translators

Switzerland — Residencies, Knowledge sharing

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Translationhouse Looren

To investigate the languages, voices, and territories translated on the Latin American continent, Looren Latin America is coordinating the collective residency «What Do We Translate?» . Five translators from South America and Mexico were selected for the project: Bruna Beber [BR], Juan Felipe Varela García [CO], Laura Cabezas [AR], Nadxeli Yrízar Carrillo [MX], and Sebastián Gómez Matus [CL].

After virtual meetings, held between November 2022 and January 2023, the group participates in a joint experience during the month of February 2023 at the Translation House Looren, in Switzerland. The programme includes working sessions (in which they will translate specific works), visits to partners and reading encounters.

About the participants

Bruna Beber

Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo [BR]
Translates from English to Portuguese

Poet, translator, visual artist and MA in Literary Theory and History from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp). She has published translations of works by Shakespeare («Hamlet»), Edna St. Vincent Millay («Selected Poems»), Sylvia Plath («Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom»), Louise Glück («A Village Life»), Lewis Carroll («The Hunting of the Snark»), Dr. Seuss, Agatha Christie, Neil Gaiman («Coraline»), Mary Gaitskill («Bad Behavior»), Eileen Myles («Chelsea Girls»), among others. She is the author of five books of poetry, one essay and one children’s book. At Looren she will work on the translation of «Mercies (Selected Poems)», by Anne Sexton.

Juan Felipe Varela García

Medellín [CO]
Translates from Italian into Spanish

Hispanist philologist awarded with the thesis «Roberto Bazlen: uno scrittore senza testo. Lector, traductor y editor antes que escritor» (Concurso Nacional Otto de Greiff, 2019). Professor of European literature, member of the Literary Studies Research Group (GEL) and Master in Literature at the University of Antioquia. He is a translator from Italian and collaborated on the book «El Tiempo en que Vivimos. Poesía Suiza Actual» (Rey Naranjo Editores, 2021) with the translation of poems by Laura Accerboni, Prisca Agustoni, Fabiano Alborghetti, Vanni Bianconi, Agostino Colombo, and Anna Ruchat. During his stay at the Looren Translators’ House, he will work on the translation of poems by Andrea Bianchetti and Lia Galli for the future collection of Swiss poetry in Italian «Judicious Pairings».

Laura Cabezas

Buenos Aires [AR]
Translates from Portuguese into Spanish

PhD in Literature from the University of Buenos Aires, professor of Brazilian and Portuguese Literature at the same university and translator. She has translated theorists such as Ana Mae Barbosa, Lilia Moritz Schwartz and Ettore Finazzi-Agrò; writers such as Oswald de Andrade, Flávio de Carvalho, and João Tordo; poets such as João Filho and Tatiana Nascimento. She is a member of the Chair of Translation Studies and Literary Import Studies at the University of Buenos Aires. She was coordinator of the Portuguese workshop of the VII Autumn School of Literary Translation Lucila Cordone, Instituto de Enseñanza Superior en Lenguas Vivas J. R. Fernández. At Looren, she will translate the novel «Úrsula», by Maria Firmina dos Reis, considered the first black novelist in Brazil.

Nadxeli Yrízar Carrillo

Mexico City [MX]
Translates from French and English into Spanish

Freelance translator specialising in theatre and children’s literature. She has translated authors such as Céline Delbecq, Daniela Ginevro, Stéphanie Mangez, Philippe Dorin, and Wajdi Mouawad. She holds a PhD in Modern Literature from the Universidad Iberoamericana and teaches translation. She is a co-founding member of the Mexican Association of Literary Translators. In 2019 she founded, with Humberto Pérez Mortera, Editorial de la casa/Nómada producciones, dedicated to the publication of plays translated into Spanish. She is a militant translator, likes tastes that are not too sweet and walking to places. He will translate the play «Nyotaimori», by the Canadian playwright Sarah Bethiaume.

Sebastián Gómez Matus

Santiago de Chile [CL]
Translates from English, Portuguese, and French into Spanish

He studied Sociology at the Universidad Central de Chile and is a poet and translator. Among the books he has translated are «My Happiness», by Mary Ruefle, «The Book of Joshua», by Zachary Schomburg, and «Summer’s End» by Chika Sagawa. He is currently working on the translation of Alice Notley’s «The Descent of Alette» and «The Arabian Apocalypse», by the Lebanese poet and painter Etel Adnan. He has also translated poets such as John Berryman, Vijay Seshadri, Barbara Guest, Terrance Hayes, and Gonçalo Tavares. His book «Animal Muerto» won a mention in Chile’s most prestigious award, the Juegos Florales Gabriela Mistral 2019. He is the author of «PO, La Constitución Borrada», a conceptualist book that crosses the literary with the visual, and «Cómo Imaginé Bagdad y Cómo la Imaginé». At Looren, he will translate the book «Picasso’s Tears Poems 1978-2013», by Chinese poet Wong May.


Pro Helvetia South America, Ministry of Culture of Argentina, and System of Support for Creation of the Mexican Ministry of Culture.

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