MFA in Writing

Concentration in Translation & Translation Studies

Students studying poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction can add translation as an area of concentration by completing a fifth semester of study. The MFA in Writing Program also offers all students the opportunity to enhance their facility with both a foreign language and their own language by exploring and practicing the art of translation. 

Concentration in Translation

This fifth semester will involve both the study and the practice of translation, and will culminate in a translation essay and a substantial translation project. To be eligible for this fifth semester, a student must have participated in translation workshops during at least two of the previous four semesters.  A student need not be fluent in the language of the work he or she is translating, but a student who is not fluent must arrange to consult and/or collaborate with someone who is.

Students who fulfill the requirements for the translation concentration receive a certificate indicating completion of the concentration, and their transcripts list both the major area of study (Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Nonfiction) and “Secondary concentration in Translation.”  

Translation Studies

The MFA in Writing Program offers all students the opportunity to enhance their facility with both a foreign language and their own language by exploring and practicing the art of translation. 

Our faculty and visiting translators offer translation workshops, panels, and lectures that are open to all students, not just those who intend to pursue a concentration in translation. The study and practice of translation is valuable for all students regardless of their level of knowledge of another language. Developing a practitioner’s grasp of translation leads not only to a deeper understanding of other writers and other approaches to writing, but also to better writing in the student’s own language. 

Students may further enhance their study of translation at one of VCFA’s summer residencies in Slovenia or Winter residencies in Puerto Rico. In both the Slovenia and Puerto Rico residencies, students meet with visiting writers and have the opportunity to participate in translation workshops and/or talks.

Visiting translators have included:

Cecilia Vicuña, Evan Fallenberg, David Ferry, David Hinton, Dan Jaffe, Alexis Levitin, Erin Moure, Laima Sruoginis, and Jeffrey Thomson.