Rowena G.

Rowena G. – Translator

Spanish-to-English translator and translation assessor since 2004. Bilingual copy editor. Literature and nonfiction.


I am a Spanish-to-English translator, translation assessor, and bilingual copy editor/proofreader with a trajectory of nearly three decades and particular strengths in art, literature, religion, and Latin American/Mexican Spanish.

I have translated coffee table art books and catalogues, literature, and academic work in the humanities and social sciences. My clients include museums in Mexico and professors in Spain. I am also an award-winning Spanish translator of poetry and literature. This year, Toad Press published my translation of Elena Poniatowska’s The Seamstresses. Last year, I had the honor of being accepted to the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. The fruits of that labor evolved into an upcoming publication of a young Mexican woman author in Latin American Literature Today. And I am about to receive a certificate in literary translation from Indiana University.

In my bilingual work, I have assessed translations into English and Spanish for mostly nonfiction books such as coffee table art books, and, more recently, memoirs, nonfiction, and fiction for HarperCollins Español. As an assessor, I compare both versions of the texts while I evaluate the accuracy, tone, register, and naturalness of the translation.

I also copyedit and proofread nonfiction works in the arts and humanities; in academia, including dissertations; about Mexico, Latin America, and Spain; and concerning art history and religion. For example, I was the copy editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, published by Oxford University Press, for two years. Other nonfiction clients include international Ph.D. candidates, travel guide writers in Mexico, and The Reading List. In addition, I have edited and proofread a few fiction works.

I was in graduate school getting three master’s degrees in European studies, comparative literature, and religious studies from 2014-2022, during which time I was always editing and translating for my graduate work and sometimes editing and translating for clients. My graduate work and work as a subtitle editor/translator trained me to be an excellent fact-checker.

Here are some highlights:


Chita Rivera, Chita, HarperCollins Español, 2023.

Leopoldo Gout, Piñata, HarperCollins Español, 2023.

Rafael Agustín, Ilegalmente tuyo, HarperCollins Español, 2023.

Hachumak, Viajando a través de lo invisible, HarperCollins Español, 2023.


Doris Bienko de Peralta, Women Religious Crossing between Cloister and the World: Nunneries in Europe and the Americas, ca. 1200-1700, Arc Humanities Press, 2023.

Juan José Ponce Vásquez, Islanders and Empire: Smuggling and Political Defiance in Hispaniola, 1580–1690, Cambridge University Press, 2020.


Karina Sosa Castañeda, Ghost Horse, Latin American Literature Today, June 2023.

Elena Poniatowska, The Seamstresses, Toad Press, 2023.

Paula Ilabaca Núñez, Lucidity, World Literature Today, 2018.


Ingrid Suckaer, Magali Tercero and Jorge Pech. El imperio de la mirada, Fundación Black Coffee Gallery, 2019.​

Art Biographies & Memoirs Education & Reference Religion & Spirituality
Contemporary Fiction
English to Spanish Spanish to English
  • World Literature Today Translation Award, 2018
  • M.A., comparative literature, Indiana University
  • M.A., religious studies, Indiana University
  • M.A., European studies, Indiana University
  • Certificate, literary translation, Indiana University
  • B.A., studio art, New York University

Work experience

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Aug, 2020 — Jul, 2022 (almost 2 years)

Copyedited book reviews according to Chicago Manual of Style. Requested review copies from academic presses. Maintained spreadsheet of book reviews and related information. Liaised with book review editor and presses. Communicated with editorial team about editorial decisions and styles. Distributed electronic copies of book reviews to presses.

SDI Mexico

Aug, 2010 — Apr, 2013 (over 2 years)

Transcribed audio and songs for films and television series in English and Spanish. Wrote and positioned closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. Synched closed captions with audio. Performed quality-control of others’ work. Followed AP style.


Jan, 2004 — Present

Copyedit or proofread fiction and nonfiction, especially academic and educational work. Correct grammar, syntax, and punctuation. Ensure consistency and readability. Eliminate repetition and wordiness. Carry out developmental editing. Fact-check. Query awkward passages. Mark stacks, widows, and orphans. Avoid typographical rivers and double spaces. Create and maintain style guide. Counsel clients on legal and copyright matters.

Translate coffee table books on Spanish, Mexican, and Latin American art and culture from Spanish to English. Translate art catalogs. Translate website material for businesses and artists, with careful consideration of client’s brand. Translate Latin American literature. Translate culinary texts.

Clients include:
• Humanities professors in Spain and Mexico
• PhD candidates at US universities writing their dissertations (one with an award-winning law dissertation)
• HarperCollins Español
• Franco Maria Ricci Editore
• The Reading List
• Albuquerque Museum of Art
• University of California at Riverside
• Richmond Publishing

Various Type Shops (see below)

Aug, 1983 — Jun, 1993 (almost 10 years)

Mastered the art of typography. Typeset books and advertisements according to client specifications. Followed style sheets. Checked for widows, orphans, stacks, and rivers. Proofread others’ work for content, type specifications, and kerning. Marked-up copy for other typesetters. Made queries to clients, which included The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Scholastic. Followed and created style sheets.

• The Ace Group, 1990-1991
• Automatech Graphics Corporation (AGC/Sedgwick), 1988-1990
• CPS, A division of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhardt, 1987-1988
• U.S. Lithograph, Inc., 1984-1986
• Hogan Type Services, 1983-1984

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