If you ask Dr. CarysEvans-Corrales, professor of Spanish, what she has been doing lately, you better have a notepad handy.
With a new book of translated poems
published this summer and another 40 translated poems and a memoir due to be
published in Spring 2014, she is also looking for a publisher for her
Galician-to-English translation of a novel by a former student. It is the first
time she has worked on translating a novel.
Although she speaks several
languages, she specializes in Spanish and Galician, a language spoken in the
northwestern portion of Spain that she fell in love with while teaching in that
Her current flurry of projects began
in 2011 when she was asked to translate 40 Galician poems for Metamorphoses, a
journal of literary translation published by Smith College. While translating
those poems (which will appear in the journal’s Spring 2014 issue), she came
across two by the Galician poet Pilar Pallarés that piqued her interest.
“I was stunned by the flexibility of
her language and vastly attracted to the way she was able to express complex
aspects of human emotion,” Evans-Corrales said. She arranged to translate
Pallarés’s prize-winning fourth volume of poetry, “A Leopard Am I” from the original
Galician to English.
“These poems allow you to share the experience
of loss in all its manifestations, yet you also feel the poet’s personal victory
as her mastery of language transforms her varied reactions to grief into these
fine poems,” she said. “And Galician translates so well into English,
especially where emotion and irony are concerned.”
Evans-Corrales discovered Galician,
which is linguistically close to Portuguese, while teaching in Galicia. For
many years, speaking Galician in public had been banned by regimes that
insisted official business be conducted in the official Spanish dialect
Castilian. At the time she was teaching, Galician language and literature were going
through a resurgence in the area. Adept with languages from a childhood of
globetrotting, Evans-Corrales enjoyed the opportunity to study and speak the
A third project, also due out in
late winter or spring, is written in English but revolves around her youth
spent in Malaysia, Singapore, Jamaica, England and Spain. The memoir, “Talking
Girl,” explains how each language she learned in each place resonated with a
different part of her personality.
Currently, you can see her
translations of two poems by Yolanda Castaño online at the Buenos Aires Review.