Featured articles


Maura Dooley on Translating Azita Ghahreman

by Maura Dooley

Poet Maura Dooley describes how she and Elhum Shakerifar translated Iranian poet, Azita Ghahreman, for the PTC's Persian Poets' Tour 2012. And how, at the end of the tour, she remembered the significant role that translation had played in her own parents' courtship seventy years ago.


Mimi Khalvati on Translating Shakila Azizzada

by Mimi Khalvati

Poet Mimi Khalvati describes how much she enjoyed the experience of translating Afghan poet, Shakila Azzizada with Zuzanna Olszewska, a process she found much easier having translated Kurdish poet, Kajal Ahmad, with us in 2008.


Nick Laird on Translating Reza Mohammadi

by Nick Laird

Nick Laird describes stages he went through translating Reza Mohammadi's poems - from unsuccessful early drafts through a transformative experience of hearing Reza read - that led to the 'weird pleasure' of translating: 'like opening your mouth and finding someone else's voice come out'.


Hamid Kabir on Translating Reza Mohammadi

by Hamid Kabir

Translator Hamid Kabir writes how the commission to co-translate Reza Mohammadi's poems was an entirely new experience for him and how it enriched his appreciation both of poetry in Persian and his knowledge of English.


Elhum Shakerifar on Translating Azita Ghahreman

by Elhum Shakerifar

Translator Elhum Shakerifar discusses how she approached translating Iranian poet, Azita Ghahreman, with Maura Dooley. Elhum talks about the challenges of translating such a complex poet into English and how she and Maura responded to the difficulties they faced.


Zuzanna Olszewska on Translating Shakila Azizzada

Zuzanna Olszewska writes about the challenges and pleasures of translating Afghan poet, Shakila Azizzada, with Mimi Khalvati for the PTC's Persian Poets' Tour 2012


Language through Language: After an Evening of Persian Poetry at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts

by Gregory Leadbetter

Our evening of Persian poetry at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham prompted poet and academic, Gregory Leadbetter, to write this insightful article about what Eliot called 'the auditory imagination' and the significance of sound in translating, reading and listening to poetry.


Clare Pollard on Translating Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf

by Clare Pollard

In this fascinating essay, poet Clare Pollard talks about how vital the process of learning about Somali culture - camels, khat and all - helped her translate Caasha's poetry. And how she turned to early English alliterative verse for inspiration.


About the Shuar

by Nataly Kelly

Translator Nataly Kelly's article gives an introduction to the Shuar people, one of the largest Amazonian indigenous groups, of which poet Marķa Clara Sharupi Jua is a member.


'The Bards of Somalia'

by Rageh Omaar

Rageh Omaar introduces the dynamic tradition of Somali poetry in 'The Bards of Somalia' on BBC Radio 4. The programme features interviews with translators Martin Orwin and W N Herbert and the PTC Director, Sarah Maguire as well as poetry by Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye'.


Three Mexican Poets

by Tom Boll

Tom Boll introduces the work of the three distinguished Mexican poets, Coral Bracho, David Huerta and Victor Teran, each of whom 'offers a distinctive version of what it means to live in Mexico today'.


Introduction to Isthmus Zapotec

by David Shook

This article gives a brief introduction to Isthmus Zapotec, the indigenous Mexican language spoken in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.


'Singing About the Dark Times': Poetry and Conflict

by Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire argues that 'translating poetry is the opposite of war' in the keynote lecture that she was invited to give at the StAnza Festival in 2008.


Translating Corsino Fortes

by Daniel Hahn

Prize-winning translator, Daniel Hahn, writes about how he approached translating Corsino Fortes's poems with Sean O'Brien. This was Daniel's first experience of translating poetry, and his first as a co-translator and he's very interesting on how he felt his role was to 'defend' the original poems.


Translating Farzaneh Khojandi

by Jo Shapcott

Jo Shapcott enthuses about the 'magic' of translating Farzaneh Khojandi with Narguess Farzad. She talks about the 'daunting' challenges she faced coming to terms with a poet whose work 'seemed worlds away from the modern, urban context of my own work'.


Some Thoughts on Co-Translating Gaarriye

by W N Herbert

W N Herbert offers a fascinating insight into how he approached co-translating Somali poetry. In this essay he describes his induction into the marvellous complexities of Somali verse and how he came to terms with the formal dexterities of Gaarriye's 'non-lyric' poetry.


Translating Noshi Gillani

by Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw writes about the impact that listening to Noshi Gillani read her poems had on her translations: 'I had in my head Emily Dickinson's dashes - how they hold the parts of her poems in mid-air, or the artist Cornelia Parker's suspended cutlery and blown-up shed.'


'There is a Sudanese Culture'

by Richard Lea

This is an interview Saddiq gave to Richard Lea of Guardian Online during his Autumn Tour in 2006. 'In the face of Sudan's long conflict between the supposedly Arabic north and African south, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi's poetry blends influences from both. Richard Lea meets him.'

On these pages you can find reviews of our translations and events; interviews with our poets and translators; blog posts; and a selection of fascinating essays on translation by some of the UK's best known poets and translators.