Essays

  1. 31/07/2012

    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.

  2. 23/07/2012

    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.

  3. 12/06/2012

    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'.

  4. 31/05/2012

    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.

  5. 28/04/2012

    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

  6. 17/04/2012

    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.

  7. 30/03/2012

    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.

  8. 16/12/2011

    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 María Clara Sharupi Jua is a member.

  9. 23/05/2011

    The Adventures of 'Beauty'

    by Partaw Naderi

    The Afghan poet, Partaw Naderi, was invited to take part in the PTC's first World Poets' Tour in 2005. In this article he writes about the excitment he felt at being invited to the UK and he reveals the true inspiration behind his poem, 'Beauty'.

  10. 12/04/2010

    Tres poetas mexicanos

    by Tom Boll

    Tom Boll introduce la obra de tres destacados poetas mexicanos, Coral Bracho, David Huerta y Víctor Terán.

  11. 02/04/2010

    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'.

  12. 24/08/2009

    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.

  13. 19/07/2009

    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.

  14. 01/07/2009

    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.

  15. 07/01/2009

    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'.

  16. 01/12/2008

    Translating Kajal Ahmad

    by Mimi Khalvati

    Mimi Khalvati expresses her desire to preserve, 'The sweetness and simplicity of [Kajal's] voice, the political and personal passion, the directness and immediacy of the address ... [together with her] sense of humour and the fable-like quality of the poems', in the translations she made with Choman Hardi.

  17. 01/12/2008

    Translating Noshi Gillani

    by Nukhbah Langah

    Nukhbah Langah reveals the challenges she experienced in translating Noshi Gillani's intense, ambiguous and exceptionally complex poetry from Urdu into English.

  18. 08/11/2008

    Translating the Poetry of Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye' for the World Poets' Tour 2008

    by Martin Orwin

    Martin Orwin describes his initial approach to translating Gaarriye's poetry as 'an intense, deep reading'. He aims to make literal versions that 'come to rest on the page dancing to as close a tune as possible as the original'. And he discusses the significance of 'the interaction between syntax, metre and alliteration' in Somali poetry.

  19. 15/07/2008

    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.'

  20. 13/03/2008

    '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.

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.