Word for Word anthology, 2012

Through courses open to all Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program MFA students, and events each semester with distinguished writer-translators from around the world, Literary Translation at Columbia (LTAC) seeks to increase awareness of the art of translation and how it enhances a writer's development and imagination.


Writing students with a strong interest in translation can also pursue the LTAC joint course of study with a secondary concentration in literary translation by completing required coursework and submitting a thesis that includes both original writing and translations. The evolving curriculum for the joint concentration includes translation workshops, seminars, and master classes that explore the art of literary translation and its connection to other forms of creative writing.


The director of LTAC is Susan Bernofsky.

Photo by Joel Jares

Literary Translation at Columbia (LTAC), a component of the Columbia University MFA Writing Program, offers Writing students the opportunity to pursue coursework in literary translation as part of their studies. LTAC is not a formal translator-training program; rather, it was created out of the belief that an encounter with literary translation is beneficial to a writer’s development and imagination, while conversely the skills involved in writing well are also essential for translation. LTAC offers workshops, seminars and master classes in literary translation each semester that are open to all students enrolled in the Writing Program, as well as to students in other graduate programs on campus when space allows.


Recent faculty include Edith Grossman, Natasha Wimmer, Alyson Waters, Mónica de la Torre, David Hinton, Jeffrey Young, Peg Boyers, Idra Novey and Matvei Yankelevich as well as LTAC director Susan Bernofsky.


Students interested in engaging more intensively with translation are invited to pursue a joint course of study in writing and literary translation, and to complete a secondary MFA thesis presenting translated work.


Prospective students interested in pursuing the LTAC joint course of study should apply to the MFA Writing Program in Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry and express their interest in translation in the general application. Please note that LTAC is offered only as a secondary concentration in the Writing Program and cannot be a student's main area of study. Students accepted into the Writing Program in any genre are asked to contact the LTAC director to declare their intention to pursue the joint concentration by the end of their first semester of study.


All Writing Program students are invited to enroll in individual LTAC courses whether or not they plan to pursue the joint concentration.