Residencies in Review

April 10, 2013 | By Rachael Small

In the early 1900s, a number of organizations in the US and abroad began inviting musicians, painters, sculptors, and writers to participate in residency programs aimed at bringing these artists out of their cafés and studios and into nature, to share the experience of creation. From these romantic beginnings, artist-in-residency programs have taken on a wide variety of forms, from idyllic colonies in the forest to state-sponsored urban retreats.  The modern residency has also come to recognize the artistic production of the translator and the many ways literary translations benefit from travel.  

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight a number of international residencies for writers and translators of French by sharing the experiences of past participants. Some of these programs provide literary artists with structure, scheduled workshops, meetings, and excursions, while others provide the time and space to work away from the concerns of day-to-day life and let the writers and translators plan their own work schedules.

We will begin this series by focusing on residencies that have the added benefit of surrounding translators who work from French texts with native informants, libraries and bookstores, allowing them to be immersed in the source language.  Starting with the most autonomous, least structured of these residencies, we will then move toward more community-based programs and then broaden the scope of inquiry to include writers as well.

We look forward to sharing these experiences with you and hope you find in them a bit of insight and inspiration.

- Centre national du livre (CNL) Residency Grants reviewed by Alyson Waters

- La Villa Gillet Residency Program reviewed by Marjolijn de Jager

- The Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) reviewed by Rachael Small

- Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraires (CITL) in Arles reviewed by Tegan Raleigh

- In Residence: At the Villa Gillet with Edward Gauvin

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