"Palabras Errantes" ― Latin American Literature in Translation


 We came across Palabras Errantes literally yesterday, when reading through the profile of recent Young Translator's Prize winner, Lucy Greaves, who has contributed many Spanish-to-English translations to the website.

We fell in love with it right away, since its mission is to bring lesser-known Latin American authors to English-speaking/reading audiences. Or, as they put it so well:

"The project was created with the goal of forging a dialogue between Latin American writers and Anglophone readers interested in getting beyond Borges and Bolaño. To this end, we publish writers who thus far have had little or no exposure in Anglophone literary circles, while serving as a forum for translators interested in Latin American literature. "

They organize their issues according to a selected theme and receive material submitted by translators from England, Ireland, Canada, United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Bosnia, Argentina, etc. Their current theme is "Palabras Errantes in Nueva York," and they have also dedicated their issues to Contemporary Argentine Poetry and NarrativeVoices from the Venezuelan City, and Uruguayan Women Writers Project. In an upcoming issue, they'll be posting translations of Mexican Speculative Fiction.

Considering the variety of colors and flavors coming out of Latin American countries, it is projects like Palabras Errantes that truly allow non-Spanish readers to appreciate diversity at its best and discover authors who otherwise would not have a voice in English through the traditional channels. Since publishers would rather invest in translating celebrated authors like Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende, who are sure to sell well in all English-speaking markets, sometimes it's up to translators and independent editors to find true gems and bring them to the light to everyone's enjoyment.