Olympic Success Shines Spotlight on Somali Culture
Mo Farah's brilliant Olympic success has alerted the world to how fast Somalis can run. Our aim is to draw attention to the superb poetry produced by people who are arguably the most poetry-obsessed on earth!
Thanks to the invaluable expertise of Martin Orwin, the PTC has focussed on translating Somali poetry since Sarah Maguire began leading poetry translation workshops at SOAS more than a decade ago. Our first World Poet's Tour in 2005 introduced astonished UK audiences to the charistmatic reading style and magnificent poetry of Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye', translated by Martin Orwin, Maxamed Xasan 'Alto' and David Harsent.
Gaarriye returned to take part in our second World Poets' Tour in 2008, during which he scored a remarkable success with young Somalis during a dynamic reading at the Bluecoat Liverpool alongside his translator, Bill Herbert.
in 2011, the PTC was very involved with the Somali Week Festival 2011 for which we translated three visiting poets. We also commissioned Clare Pollard to translate the outstanding young Somali poet, Caasha Lul Mohammed Yusuf and, in March 2012 we published a chapbook of Caasha's poems and a podcast of her and Clare reading together.
We feel very privileged indeed to have had the opportunity to introduce these Somali poets to English-speaking audiences and to have forged such close and important ties with the Somali community.
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013