Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Parkbench shares the anniversary of its founding with an infinitely more important local event: Bloomsday. Today, Parkbench turned two, and Bloomsday was celebrated for the 106th time. I would be hard pressed to make further comparisons between the two on any front, but, wearing my anorak, I do quietly enjoy the fact that a Dublin-based literary business was founded on a decidedly literary and decidedly ‘Dublin’ day.

Without sounding too much like an annual report, it has been a tough year for publishing, and thus for Parkbench. That said, it has seen a few important developments. I got an M.Phil in Literary Translation from Trinity College, Dublin, where I met and worked with an impressive team of new literary translators, some of whom have worked for Parkbench on sample translations for a French publisher and a Greek film festival. We kept up a steady online presence, through which we found translator Michael Waaler, who did the wildly successful translation from the German of Cash. My own first full translation from the French was published just this month, The Hot Rock, and there’s another in the pipeline: Kiki, a graphic biography of Man Ray’s model and the toast of 1920s Paris.

Also through web connections, we came across Sorcha Grisewood, a Dublin native now living in Abu Dhabi, where she works as a teacher. She caught my eye on the Publishing Ireland website for having a Masters in Translation Studies from Dublin City University and for her interest in breaking into publishing. Sorcha now works remotely as a part-time researcher for Parkbench, exploring new possibilities for our translation work abroad, and she has been delivering the goods by email and Skype for some weeks now, and her work has been invaluable.

By way of diversifying, Parkbench will be a patron of the Ranelagh Arts Festival, a local Dublin festival offering an impressive week-long programme of theatre, literature dance, music and the visual arts in area venues starting on Dublin’s Culture Night on 24 September – so be there or be square!

So, onwards and upwards. Plans for the coming year include building relationships with more Continental publishers, and closer to home, with our many arts and theatre festivals across the country.

Keep an eye on the Parkbench facebook page and Twitter account to keep in touch about all things translation and publishing, or indeed just drop us a line.

All the best,

Nora Mahony