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Balam and Lluvia’s House: Translating Poetry for Children

The Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing in partnership with Outside in World, the organisation dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children’s books in translation, are delighted to announce the latest event in their seminar series on translation for children:

Balam and Lluvia’s House: Translating Poetry for Children

This is event is free and open to all. To register for the zoom link, click here.

Balam and Lluvia are siblings who catch fireflies, bid farewell to their pet fish in the bathroom, and wait for Ratón Pérez to collect their teeth. In Balam and Lluvia’s House, the secret tastes and sounds of the everyday are waiting to be found.

To celebrate the publication of Balam and Lluvia’s House, written by Julio Serrano Echeverría, illustrated by Yolanda Mosquera and translated by Lawrence Schimel (Emma Press, 2023) and a PEN Translates Award winner, we will be talking to the publisher, author and translator. We will be asking them all about the book, how it was written, how it came to be translated into English, and the joys of translating poetry.

Georgia Wall is publishing manager at The Emma Press, an independent publishing house based in Birmingham, UK, which aims to make literature and publishing as welcoming and accessible as possible. The Emma Press was founded in 2021 by Emma Dai’an Wright and specialises in poetry, short fiction, essays and children’s books.

Julio Serrano Echeverría is a Guatemalan writer, poet, filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Mestizo, African and Mayan descent. He has held fellowships from the Fundación Carolina, the Iberoamerican Artists Residence FONCA-AECID and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the US, where he has also been artist in residence and lectures regularly on poetry and Latin American culture. His poetry collections include Tierra, Antes del mar, Estados de la materia, Central Ámerica, and his children’s books include En botas de astronauta and Dos cabezas para meter un gol. He was one of the founders of the Quetzaltenango International Poetry Festival. He received the 2022 Premio Gabo, the most prestigious award for Latin American journalism, for his work as co-founder and creative coordinator of Agencia Ocote, an interdisciplinary Guatemalan digital media outlet that views journalism in dialogue with art, historic memory, transitional justice and women’s rights. He has participated in many international poetry festivals, and his work is also translated into Bengali, English, French and the Mayan languages Q´eqchí, K´iche’, and Kaqchikel.

Lawrence Schimel (New York City, 1971) is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over 130 books in a wide range of genres. His picture books have won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a White Raven from the International Youth Library in Munich, and have been chosen by IBBY for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities (three times), among other honors. His writings have been translated into over fifty languages, including Icelandic, Maltese, Farsi, Kurdish, Basque, Luxembourgish, Changana, Romansch, and Japanese. In addition to his own writing, he is a prolific literary translator, primarily into English and into Spanish, who has published over 150 books. His translations into English have won a Batchelder Honor from the American Library Association, a PEN Translates Award from English PEN (three times), a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship (with Layla Benitez-James), and was Highly Commended in the CLiPPA, among other honors. He started the Spain chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators and served as its Regional Advisor for five years. He also coordinated the International SCBWI Conference in Madrid and the first two SCBWI-Bologna Book Fair conferences. He lives in Madrid, Spain.


20th July 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm