Become the PTC’s Commissioning Editor

The Poetry Translation Centre is seeking an experienced Commissioning Editor to join our small and dynamic team. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with a poetry background and an entrepreneurial spirit, who is serious about championing BAME representation in UK literature. A proven track record in publishing contemporary poetry is desirable. We particularly welcome applications from BAME candidates.


The Poetry Translation Centre was founded in 2004 by the poet Sarah Maguire to introduce extraordinary poetry from around the world to new audiences, live and online. Our mission is to give the best poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language, to better recognise and celebrate the diverse communities who have made their home in the UK, and to enrich the English poetic tradition through translation. We produce new translations through public workshops which are open to all and free to unwaged and refugee participants. We commission fresh translations for publication by pairing international poets with leading UK poets who write in English. We organise poetry tours around the country. Above all, we forge enduring relations with immigrant communities in the UK for whom poetry is of great importance.

The PTC is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The Centre has been regularly funded by Arts Council England since 2006, and since April 2012 has been one of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations. The Acting Chair of our Board is Alexander Hayward.

The Role

We wish to recruit a part-time Commissioning Editor to shape the PTC’s artistic programme. This is a new role, reporting to the PTC’s Chief Executive Officer, Erica Jarnes. You will publish high-quality poetry translations, bringing together international poets, translators and leading UK poets to work collaboratively. You will manage our important relationship with publishing partner Bloodaxe Books. You will help us reach new readers, including our key target market of under-25s. You will develop new relationships with retailers and special sales partners across the UK. You will also curate the PTC’s flagship activity, the translation workshop programme. You will be a public representative of the PTC, and play an active role in fundraising. You will be joining us at an exciting time of transition, as we shape and deliver an ambitious artistic programme in line with our new four-year strategy.

The position is part-time - a total of 3 days per week (0.6 FTE) - and will be based primarily at the PTC’s office in central London (with possibilities for working from home). The salary will be £32,000 - £35,000 pro rata, depending on your skills and experience.


Key Responsibilities

*Commission the PTC’s collaborative translations - source poets, commission translators, edit and introduce poetry publications

*Publish the PTC’s books - develop key relationships with suppliers, co-publishers and retailers

*Seek out new sales avenues and creative partnerships for the PTC

*Supervise the delivery of PTC translation workshops

*Work effectively alongside Communications and Events colleagues

*Contribute to the PTC’s strategic vision

*Play an active role in fundraising for the PTC

*Represent the PTC in public e.g. at conferences and festivals


Person Specification


*Up-to-date knowledge of UK poetry and poetics

*Understanding of and interest in the issues relating to translation

*Relevant experience in publishing and editing

*Interest in the work of the Poetry Translation Centre

*Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

*Entrepreneurial self-starter who can work independently and flexibly in a small team



*Proven track record in publishing contemporary poetry

*Experience of working for an arts organisation or charity

*Experience of writing or contributing to fundraising bids

*Experience of line-managing others

*Experience of / confidence in public speaking

*Experience with MS Office applications and Google Drive

*Knowledge of other languages




Salary: £32,000 - £35,000 pro rata, depending on experience

Hours: 21 hours per week

Location: 2 Wardrobe Place, London EC4V 5AH

Line Manager: Chief Executive Officer

Line-managing: Workshops Manager (0.2 FTE)

Contract terms: Permanent, following a satisfactory three-month probationary period

To Apply: Please send a CV and covering letter, together with a PTC Diversity Monitoring Form (which can be downloaded from this page), to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please put ‘Application – Commissioning Editor’ in the subject heading of your email.

Deadline: 5pm, Monday 18 December 2017

Interviews: Week of 8 January 2018, in central London

Download a PTC Diversity Monitoring Form here.