Amaia Gabantxo is a writer, a flamenco singer and literary translator specialized in Basque literature. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago, and performs regularly in venues all over Chicago. She is the most prolific translator of Basque literature to date, as well as a pioneer in the field, and has received multiple awards for her work; most recently, the OMI Writers Translation Lab award, a Mellon Fellowship for Arts and Scholarship, and a year long artist-in-residence award at the Cervantes Institute in Chicago. She has published and performed on both sides of the Atlantic: in Ireland and Great Britain, the countries in which she carried out her university education, and in the US, where she has lived for the last five years.
She is currently involved in three hybrid literary/musical/performance art projects. Soniché, where she performs with classical musicians in ensembles that hybridize flamenco and classical traditions; the Lorca Project, which thanks to the Mellon Fellowship, will bring together flamenco artists and a multidisciplinary group of academics in a project that will aim to come up with new English translations of Lorca’s poetry, and to ‘translate’ Lorca’s poetry into a variety of media; and Almas, a collaboration with Iranian-American poet Sholeh Wolpé and ‘tar player Sahba Motallebi that brings together Iranian and flamenco music, Lorca’s songs, and new interpretations of Lorca and Attar’s poetry.
Her latest literary translations, due to be published in late 2016 and in 2017, include Twist by Harkaitz Cano for Archipelago Books in NY, A Glass Eye by Miren Agur Meabe for Parthian Books in the UK, and two seminal collections by the father of modern Basque poetry, Gabriel Aresti, Soul & Soil and Downhill, for the University of Nevada Press.