ALTA Mentorship Program 2022
Mentor Bill Johnston and Sean LaRiche, mentee, will work together in 2022 to translate a collection of prose poems by Jakub Kornhauser called The Yeast Works [Drożdżownia]. The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a literary translation project selected by the emerging translator.
Sean LaRiche (mentee) is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist who works with children and adolescents on an inpatient psychiatric unit at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. He taught English in Poland for several years and developed a longstanding interest in Polish literature. For his mentorship he will translate a collection of prose poems by Jakub Kornhauser called The Yeast Works [Drożdżownia]. Learn more about Sean.
Bill Johnston’s (mentor) awards include the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry for Adam Mickiewicz’s verse narrative Pan Tadeusz (Archipelago Books), a translation supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship; the 2017 Found in Translation Award for Tomasz Różycki’s mock epic poem Twelve Stations (Zephyr Press); the 2014 Transatlantyk Prize; and the 2012 PEN Translation Prize and Best Translated Book Award, both for Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books). He has twice been on the faculty at the Bread Loaf Translators Conference, and has previously served five times as mentor for the ALTA mentorships. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.
The mentorship duration is approximately nine months. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in that time, and they will only be advised on that particular project. ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded in 2015 by former ALTA Board member Allison M. Charette.
All mentors and mentees meet via video conference at the beginning of their mentorship in February, and continue their work through individual meetings during the rest of the mentorship year, either in person, over Skype, or by phone. A minimum of six meetings is expected for the course of the program. The mentorship will conclude with a presentation of the mentee’s work in a reading at the annual ALTA conference in the fall. ALTA’s mentees also have the option to take part in the “First Look” program, which allows participating magazine and book publishers to be the first to read excerpts of the translations mentees have worked on throughout their mentorship, for possible publication. The $1,500 travel stipend covers ALTA conference registration, as well as travel to the conference location and on-site accommodations. Please note that each of our program funders may have different stipulations regarding travel funding.
Lead image: L to R: (Top row) Shandra Chen; Angelia Coronado; Brad Harmon; Tamina Hauser; Helena Kernan; Sean LaRiche; Archana Madhavan. (Bottom row) Samantha Mateo; Priyamvada Ramkumar; Emma Roy; Shanna Tan; Alisa Yamasaki; Kenny Yim (photo credit: Mim on Roseway).