The Conference Room in Manchester Central Library was packed with eager listeners for this event with three of our poets and their translators. It provided a very grand setting, with panelled walls and high sash windows. By the time we kicked off it was standing room only and there must have been at least sixty people in the audience.
I never realised the Moon landings had such a profound and far-reaching effect. For Corsino Fortes, driving his battered Peugeot 204 from Kuito to Luanda, the moment he heard the Americans had touched down was a revelation. He stopped the car, got out, put his hands on his head and looked up at the sky.
Coach D. I’m sitting opposite two of the world’s greatest living poets. Gaarriye is pinching my salt and vinegar crisps. Farzaneh Khojandi is asking, through her friend and translator, Narguess Farzad, about Welsh place names. I am not being much help.
If we could read the poets that move huge audiences elsewhere in the world, would it wake up our own? On the Guardian’s blog Sarah Maguire prescribes a course of translation to restore the vitality of British verse.
Following the extraordinary success of the first World Poets’ Tour in 2005, the Poetry Translation Centre has organised its second World Poets’ Tour which begins on Sunday 7th September at the Bristol Poetry Festival.
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.’
‘Translating poetry is the opposite of war’. In the keynote speech at the StAnza Poetry Festival in 2008 Sarah, Maguire, The Artistic Director of The PTC, argues for the importance of translated poetry in times of conflict.
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.’