About This Journal

Transference is dedicated to the translation of poetry, whether that be new, previously untranslated works, or fresh translations of older, well known texts. A translated poem is a literary and linguistic engagement, not only with the original poet’s expression but also with the source language and the target language of the work.

In this domain, perhaps more than in any other, the message is imparted in the very fabric and texture of the idiom. The translator teases and wrestles meaning out of the source text, drawing it through the prism of its original time, place, and language, and into his or hers. Settling that meaning in an entirely different mode of thinking and imagining is a creative act in its own right.

We view this enterprise as contingent, liberating, and individualistic. For that reason, we also provide a space for translators to comment on the art and process of transferring meaning and form across languages and cultures. These commentaries vary in type and scope, but our hope is that all of them will offer insights into the creative process and invite readers to reflect on the power of language and the value of poetry.

Transference is created by faculty in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo). We publish poetry translated into English from the following languages, which correspond to our major and minor programs: Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek, Latin, and Japanese.

We welcome your submission. Translators whose first language is not English should work closely with a native speaker of English.