The Art of Listening: Four Ways to Journey Across Worlds Masterclass

Sun Sep 24 2023 at 10:00 am to 05:00 pm

Singapore Book Council | Singapore

Singapore Book Council
Publisher/HostSingapore Book Council
The Art of Listening: Four Ways to Journey Across Worlds Masterclass
A literary translation masterclass with Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.
About this Event

What makes a translation come alive? How can words cross between worlds? In this interactive masterclass, the author, poet, translator, and teacher Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma will guide participants through four key aspects of literary translation: clarity, tone, structure, and completeness. Bring one or two pages of something you’re currently translating or would like to translate and a willingness to stretch your imagination! Through group discussion, mini lectures, and hands-on experimentation, you will deepen your knowledge of both the artistic and practical dimensions of literary translation and come away inspired by new perspectives and possibilities.

(This masterclass is part of a series of programmes under the SBC Translator Residency conducted by Thomas Hitorshi Pruiksma. You may check out more programmes here.)

Programme Details:

Date: 23 September 2023, Sunday

Time: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

Venue: SBC Training Room, Goodman Arts Centre, Blk E, #03-32

(Lunch and tea will be provided.)

Learning Objectives

At the end of the masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • Identify which aspects of any particular work they most wish to convey, understanding how clarity about those aspects can help guide the larger process of translation.
  • Deal adroitly with the question of tone in English with an understanding of the often overlooked historical and structural factors involved.
  • Orient their work toward larger structures such as phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs to give their translation greater consistency and flow.
  • Determine for any particular work those factors which lead to a complete and fully integrated translation able to shine on its own.
  • Navigate both the professional demands of publishing and the artistic and cultural contexts to which their translation will pertain.
Programme Itinerary:
  • Introductions
  • The first aspect: CLARITY
  • The second aspect: TONE
  • The business of translation
  • The third aspect: STRUCTURE
  • The fourth aspect: COMPLETENESS
  • Guided translation exercise*
  • Closing Review

Do prepare one or two pages of something you’re currently translating or would like to translate to the masterclass. The masterclass will focus on translations into English, and there are no restrictions on the source language.


Participants are required to

  • submit their choice text of what they would like to work on during the masterclass
  • share why they would like to attend the masterclass
  • share what they hope to gain from the masterclass

Please note that we have limited spaces available, so participation will be confirmed on a first-come-first-served basis.

About Facilitator

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is an author, translator, teacher, and performer. His translation of the classical Tamil masterpiece on ethics, power, and love, The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural, was recently published by Beacon Press. Other books include The Safety of Edges (poems), Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyar (translated from the Tamil) and Body and Earth (with the artist C.F. John). He speaks and performs widely, teaches for the Cozy Grammar series of online video courses, and has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the U. S. Fulbright Program.

About SBC Translator Residency

The SBC Translator Residency is one of SBC's initiatives to develop and support literary translators. The invited translator-in-residence spends a week in Singapore and will conduct a series of programmes sharing his expertise and experience with the community here. The translator-in-residence will also mentor emerging translators.

Our very first translator-in-residence, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma from the US, who translates from both Tamil and Spanish into English, is a translator, poet, writer, and performer. His notable translations include The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural and Give, Eat, and Live: Poems of Avvaiyaran. Thomas will be here from 23 – 29 September to conduct a series of programmes, and he will mentor up to three (3) mentees working on Tamil to English translations.

The SBC Translator Residency programme is supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore.


The masterclass can be cancelled or postponed two weeks before the date if the minimum number of participants is not met.

Upon registration, you are deemed to have read and understood the terms and conditions and cancellation policy and accept the terms contained therein.

For enquiries, please email [email protected]


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Singapore Book Council, Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road, Block E, #03-32, Singapore, Singapore


SGD 0.00

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