Announcing a New MFA in Literary Translation at San Francisco State University

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 15:56
An open book with text floating out of it

The Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University is pleased to announce a new MFA Program in Literary Translation. At this program, students work with highly accomplished faculty in a vibrant, world-class city, developing excellence as literary translators and discovering the infinite possibilities of language.

Today more than ever, translation plays a crucial role in the literary landscape. The program at San Francisco State approaches literary translation as both a process of rendering an existing work in a new context and as a creative act in its own right, drawing not only on one’s knowledge of language but also on one’s sensitivity to its music and shades of meaning. Our program fosters exploration of the cultural implications of translation, connecting our work to broader themes of diversity, identity, and the vitality engendered by an international lens.

This program is well-suited to students interested in developing their own original writing alongside literary translations, as all students have access to creative writing classes in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and/or playwriting. The SFSU Creative Writing Program also offers its literary translation courses as a secondary correlative for students pursuing a concentration in fiction, poetry, non-fiction, or playwriting. Those seeking an MFA centered on their own original work will find, in correlative translation courses, an incomparable training ground for using language with precision and power.


Students will engage in coursework including:

• Translation Workshops

• The Theory and Craft of Translation

• Contemporary World Literatures

• Language and Literature courses in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Modern Greek, Ancient Greek, or/and Latin

• Optional creative writing classes in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or/and playwriting

• A thesis project consisting of a 60-120 page translation of a literary work.


Our literary translation faculty are Maxine Chernoff, Carolina De Robertis, Paul Hoover, and Andrew Joron. For a full list of Creative Writing faculty of all disciplines, please visit


The application deadline for Fall 2017 admission is January 15, 2017. For more information on how to apply, please visit