Phoneme Media: Giving a Voice to Authors
Translators David Shook and Brian Hewes noticed that there was a lot of interesting international literature that was not reaching English-language readers. This included books from countries like Burundi and Mongolia. For this reason, in 2013, they decided to create Phoneme Media – a non-profit media company which “seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding by connecting people and ideas through translated books and film”. The media company, which is based in Los Angeles and funded by the PEN Center, USA, publishes twelve books of translated poetry and fiction each year.
And what a cross-cultural journey it is: translated from Spanish, there is the poetry collection of Mexican writer, Roberto Castillo Udiarte: Smooth-Talking Dog; and then, originally written in the Lingala language of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Richard Ali A Mutu’s novel, Mr Fix-It is now available in English, thanks to the folks at Phoneme. They recently celebrated their first Icelandic translation, Cold Moons by Magnús Sigurðsson.
The Phoneme’s City of Asylum series features works by exiled writers who are receiving sanctuary in the United States. Featured work, includes the English translation of The Conspiracy, written by exiled Venezuelan novelist, Israel Centeno.
Phoneme’s general submissions are open year-round and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company is keen to publish books by women and those translated from non-Indo European languages.