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’.
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.
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.
This article gives a brief introduction to Isthmus Zapotec, the indigenous Mexican language spoken in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
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’.
Nukhbah Langah reveals the challenges she experienced in translating Noshi Gillani’s intense, ambiguous and exceptionally complex poetry from Urdu into English.
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.
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.
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.