A Reading and Discussion with Ellis Ging, Winner of the Loose Translation Prize

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 • 7 pm
Klapper Hall 710

Book cover for The Cells of Terror, written by Alfonso Sastre and translated by Ellis Ging published by Hanging Loose Press. It features bars of light on a black background, the bars reflect a human visage walking on an abstract black and white landscape.

Please join us for our first in-person event of the semester, as we celebrate MFA alum Ellis Ging winning the Loose Translations Prize from Hanging Loose Press! Rather than host a huge, formal reading, we wanted MFA students and members of literary community to be able to sit down with Ging and ask him about his work translating Alfonso Sastre’s Cells of Terror, so this event will take the form of an intimate salon, where Ellis will read and then engage us all in Translation Terror (and joy)!

Details about the book and the author are below. All guests from outside of the CUNY community will have to show ID and proof of vaccination at the main security gate on Kissena Blvd. before entering campus.

Hope to see you there!


The Cells of Terror, written by Alfonso Sastre and translated by Ellis Ging, consists of twenty-four stories, all very short, scientifically formulated about the cells that are the origin of terror—which is to say, about a few of the key situations that sow in the hearts of human beings the monstrous seed of terror. As told by a variety of narrators whose perspective is both unflinching and darkly humorous, these tales encompass the visceral, the metaphysical, and the political in horror.

Alfonso Sastre (1926–2021) was a Spanish author best known as a Generation of ’50 playwright, though he also wrote prose, poetry, essays, and screenplays. His work received numerous awards, including the Premio Nacional de Teatro (for La taberna fantástica) and the Premio Nacional de Literatura Dramática (for Jenofa Juncal). Sastre is also known for his leftist political activism: his opposition to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and support of Basque independence.

Ellis Ging is a librarian and translator based in New York with a particular interest in the horror genre. He has an MFA in Literary Translation as well as an MLS from Queens College. He is winner of the 2022 Loose Translation Prize from Hanging Loose Books. 


Kimiko Hahn on PBS NewsHour

Our own Kimiko Hahn was featured yesterday in a segment for PBS NewsHour about the power of poetry! You can check it out here:

Kimiko Hahn on PBS NewsHour

This is exactly what QC MFA brings to the table!

Congratulations Kimiko!


Spring 2023 MFA Events

Queens College Spring 2023 Literary Events

MFA Program* and Related Activities

*Monday, February 27, 7pm

zoom link tba [open to current MFA students]

Author, editor, and Deputy Director at Poetry Society of America Brett Fletcher-Lauer speaks about their chapbook contest.

*Tues March 7, 5pm,

in person Klapper 710 [open to current mfa students]

John Weir micro-event

*Tues March 7, 8pm

zoom link tba [open to current MFA students]

New York editor visits Crystal Hana Kim’s Fiction Workshop and speaks about the editorial process.

Saturday, March 11, 8pm

in person Kupferberg Center for the Arts (tickets on KCA website; free for students)Ira Glass, Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass

Ira Jeffrey Glass is an American public radio personality. He is the host and producer of the radio and television series This American Life and has participated in other NPR programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation.

*Wednesday, March 15, 7pm

in person Klapper 710

Hanging Loose Press launch of Ellis Ging translation of Alfonso Sastre’s book:

“The Cells of Terrorconsists of twenty-four stories, all very short, scientifically formulated, about the cells that are the origin of terror—which is to say, about a few of the key situations that sow in the hearts of human beings the monstrous seed of terror. As told by a variety of narrators whose perspective is both unflinching and darkly humorous, these tales encompass the visceral, the metaphysical, and the political in horror.”

*Thursday, April 20, 7pm

zoom link tba

MFA alum speak about life post-MFA

speakers tba

Wednesday, April 19 

details tba

Arun Venugopal, WNYC—Journalist-in-Residence at QC–speaks about audio storytelling. 

*Wednesday, April 19, 7pm 

in person Godwin Ternbach Museum, Klapper Hall

Brian Turner–poet, memoirist, and activist–reads from his latest collections of poetry that draw from travels and social projects over the last six years. Each collection is, in its own way, an expanded exploration of grief and memory on a personal and global scale. “As a war poet, [Brian Turner] sidesteps the classic distinction between romance and irony, opting instead for the surreal.” The New York Times Book Review

*Monday, April 24, 7pm

in person Rosenthal Library, Tanenbaum Room 300i

Ghostbird Press launch of Joe Gross chapbook Lest We All Get Clipped.

“A collection of poems that seek our innate divinity through both ecclesiastical and (extra)ordinary experience.”

Friday, April 28, 12–1pm

zoom (information on AAARI website)

AAARI Reads Book Club our virtual Book Club (Asian Amerian/Asian Research Institute)

The inaugural selection is Rajiv Mohabir’s Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir, described as “an experimental genre-blending exploration of the ways that race, sexuality, gender, and diasporic culture inform Mohabir’s experiences as a queer immigrant Indo-Guyanese poet.”

*Saturday in May

date, time, location tba 

LAHM event: Spring 2023 MFA resident writers read from their original work prompted by the Louis Armstrong Archives.

*Thursday, June 1, time tba

in person Godwin Ternbach Museum, Klapper Hall

Graduation Reading


Academy of American Poets Names New Chancellors Kimiko Hahn, Ilya Kaminsky, Ed Roberson, and Patricia Smith

We are so pleased to announce that our own Kimiko Hahn has just been elected as one of the fifteen-member Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

“All that we publish, program, and promote at the Academy of American Poets is fueled by the collective wisdom, imagination, and expertise of our Chancellors,” said Tess O’Dwyer, Chair of the Board. “It’s exhilarating to congratulate poets extraordinaire Kimiko Hahn, Ilya Kaminsky, Ed Roberson, and Patricia Smith on their election and welcome them into the leadership of the Academy.”

promotional photo of Kimiko Hahn for the Academy of American Poets

Chancellors serve six-year terms during which they consult with the organization on artistic matters, judge the organization’s largest legacy prizes for American poets, and act as ambassadors of poetry in the world at large. 

To read more about this momentous feat, please visit the Academy website:

Congratulations, Kimiko!!!


Ariel Francisco: The New Yorker

MFA alum Ariel Francisco (Translation, 2021) has a new poem in this issue of The New Yorker!

Congratulations! So proud of you, Ariel!!!

Read “Baton Bleu” here:


Eric Becker: Brazilian Authoritarianism (Translation)

MFA alum Eric Becker’s latest translation, of Lilia M. Schwarcz’s Brazilian Authoritarianism: Past and Present (Princeton University Press), is available now wherever books are sold. This book from Princeton University Press, digs beneath the mythos of the tolerant and peaceful Brazilian society, to reveal a more troubling truth.

It’s sure to be a fascinating read, made all the more poignant by Eric’s adept translation!


Clotheslines journal launch

Two of our alums, Marine Cornuet and Francesca Hyatt, are having a launch for their new, small-batch, hand-bound journal Clotheslines. Relations are at the center of this journal, and we aim at giving readers and ourselves many lenses for reflecting on what it means to be reaching for each other, connecting with those who came before us, and feeling the places we roam.

If you’re down for some great readings by Meghan Forbes, Leor Stylar, Miriam Atkin, and Rebecca Suzuki, you should be there at 360 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn on Friday, December 16 at 7:30pm!


Richard Prins Receives PEN/HEIM Translation Fund Grant

Now in their 20th year, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants promote the publication and reception of translated world literature into English. Established by a gift from Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim in response to the dismayingly low number of literary translations appearing in English, the fund has supported more than 200 projects.

Richard Prins’ translation from the Swahili of Walenisi by Katama Mkangi

From the judges’ citation: A touchstone of Kenyan literature, Katama Mkangi’s Walenisi begins with a reimagination of events from the dictatorial Kenyatta and Moi regimes. The novel’s protagonist, sentenced to death for “talking too much,” miraculously escapes his fate by piloting the space ship intended as his grave to the utopian planet Walenisi, where a journey of self-discovery begins. Blending parable and science fiction, Mkangi, who was imprisoned for his pro-democracy advocacy, satirizes global capitalism and postcolonial authoritarianism while presenting a speculative vision of an egalitarian future. Richard Prins translates this thrilling ride with humor and verve — a rare chance for English-speakers to read an Africanfuturist work originally written in an indigenous African language.

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