Festival of Hope 2 / 26 February 2021

Literature in the Making with the translators Rebecca Hanssens-Reed and Derick Mattern

Introduction by Matthias Göritz

Festival of Hope 2

Literature in the Making with Rebecca Hanssens-Reed and Derick Mattern

Feb 26, 2021 03:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)





Rebecca Hanssens-Reed is a translator and writer from Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in World Literature Today, ConjunctionsThe Offing, The New England Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. Her translation of Tere Dávila’s short story “Yellow Jaguar” was selected for the 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. She has an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, where she was also a Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer. 















Derick Mattern’s translations of contemporary Turkish poetry have appeared in World Literature TodayModern Poetry in TranslationAsymptoteBerlin Quarterly, and many others. His work has received support from the British Centre for Literary Translation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, and Washington University in St Louis, where he is a PhD student in comparative literature.  




Matthias Göritz is the author of four volumes of poetry, three novellas and three novels—including Der kurze Traum des Jakob Voss (The Short Dream of Jakob Voss), 2005, winner of the Hamburg Literature Prize, Radio Bavaria Prize, and the Mara Cassens Prize. His most recent novel is Parker (C.H. Beck, 2018). He teaches as Professor of the Practice in Comparative Literature at Washington University. 


The International Writers Track in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis 


The International Writers Track in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis

This PhD track in comparative literature aimed at international writers proceeds from the conviction that advanced study and credentials in literary studies support and enhance the intellectual and creative work of writers by complementing and informing their endeavors with comparative historical, cultural, linguistic, and theoretical frameworks. It offers highly qualified international students the opportunity to advance their careers with academic training in comparative literary studies in the United States. 

“Writer” in our sense comprises fiction writers, poets, essayists, journalists, translators, screenwriters, filmmakers, and public intellectuals. As an internationally-renowned center of literary study in multiple languages and home to one of the best creative writing programs in the country, WashU offers a rich intellectual and cultural foundation for writers from all backgrounds. We recruit candidates who would benefit from pursuing such studies in a context where they can simultaneously work on their writing, make literary contacts, pursue comparative literary and theoretical studies and complete translations of their work (collaborating with fellow graduate students when appropriate). Students completing the program are not necessarily expected to pursue university teaching positions in the United States or elsewhere worldwide, although they may choose to do so; the degree is offered with the expectation that it will help them enter the world of writing and publishing beyond the academy and in their respective home countries.