Listen to a Poetry Translation Workshop on BBC Radio

Back in May poet Helen Mort and her producer Caroline Hughes visited one of our Poetry Translation Workshops to record a segment for their upcoming BBC Radio 4 show Mother Tongue. The show follows Helen as she discovers exciting poetic voices from all around the world, each week considering a different key phrase or idea.

The Poetry Translation Centre workshop features in the first episode of the show entitled ‘Bodies in Motion.’ When Helen and Caroline came to visit we were translating a Cuban poet called Legna Rodriguez Iglesias with literal translator Serafina Vick. The session was facilitated by poet Clare Pollard.

The program does a great job of capturing the workshop process with the literal translation being fully dissected before being reassembled as a new English language poem. In a way that will be familiar to our workshop attendees, simple phases spark an ‘open and friendly’ debate. The listener gets a great taste of our collaborative translation process and Helen muses that she rearly reads a poem as closely as we did while translating Ms Trolley Recalls Countries by Legna Rodriguez Iglesias.

Elsewhere in the episode Helen talks to Syrian poet Golan Haji about finding inspiration in the work of American artist Bill Viola and meets up with German poet and performer, Ulrike Almut Sandig. The series is ongoing and can be found on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Listen to Helen Mort's Mother Tongue