The Second Annual Queer Translations Issue from Queen Mob’s Teahouse
Funeral Parade of Roses, 1969
It’s once again time to submit your queer translations to Queen Mob’s Teahouse (sister magazine to Berfrois). Last year we received an incredibly number of wonderful pieces and we are hoping to receive even more this year; especially since we will have an online version and a print version, created in collaboration with our friends at Publication Studio Vancouver. However, what we are looking for this time is a bit different.
The word translation itself contains the prefix trans, signifying movement rather than stability. Instead of thinking of translation as an exchange of “this” for “that” we are looking for pieces that somehow seek to retain the quality of movement and motion and change between languages and cultures. This is a project to highlight the process of translation and to recognize that the process itself is endless, ongoing and never fixed.
One of the first books that got me moving in this direction was Adam Thirwell’s collection Multiples, where different writers translate a piece into and out of a number of languages. It is certainly an entertaining intellectual exercise, but it is just that, an exercise, it fails to recognize the unique cultural implications a text carries with it. This queer translation issue seeks multiples that engage with language and culture on more serious, respectful and sensitive levels.
Another book that has had me thinking about the “trans” in translation is Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, edited by TC Tolbert and Trace Peterson. The book is filled with remarkable poetry and each writer also had the chance to write a sort of manifesto. Of course I turned to one of my favorites right away.
Eileen Myles “My Boy’s Red Hat” writes:
A poem seems to be a place where for a moment you can put it all. Or everything else falls away. Gender and the self keep turning all the time. I think it’s a kind of danger that moves us. Some people are capable of staying in their castle but for me they just aren’t queer.
So gender and genre are telling us that this goes here and that goes there but I’ve always felt that nothing can be fixed…
Perhaps this is the intersection of translation and queerness, the lack of fixedness in both the text and our lives. While this call seeks queer content it is not limited in understanding what that can mean. I invite you to explore what queer literature can be, depending on time, geography, culture and language.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s definition of queer in her book Tendencies makes the most sense to me:
One of the things that ‘queer’ can refer to: the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically.
We are looking for work that fails to signify monolithically, whether in form or content or even, or hopefully, both. Work can be collaborative, mixed genre and mixed media. We seek work that engages in intersectionality.
This is a two-fold project, since there will be an online version and a print version, created in collaboration with Publication Studio Vancouver. This means that pieces can change and adapt and move even within the project itself.
I look forward to reading your work!
The Technical Stuff:
Some ideas, but not limitations:
-curated exchanges between author and translator
-webs of reference
-portals of influence
-multiple evolutions of the piece
What we are looking for:
-pieces that explore the process of translation
-work that reveals its structure and creation
-work that can exist in two versions and/or be willing to adapt to and from print and digital
-work that is intersectional
Submissions open from 15 May to 15 August 2017
Please also feel free to send pitches and ideas, we’re willing to work with you.
send all submissions, pitches and inquiries to:
queertranslations [at] gmail [dot] com