Series: Spring 2024 Poetry Translation Workshops

Announcing the Spring 2024 poetry workshop season: poets Leo Boix and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún will be facilitating a set of four online workshops looking at poetry written in Persian, Chinese, Somali, and Spanish.

Each of our collaborative poetry translation workshops brings together a guest-translator and a poet-facilitator to open up the translation process and explore a poem from Asia, Africa, the Middle East or Latin America.

These workshops are open to all and there is no need to know the language being translated.

Each session starts with a guide translation prepared by that week’s guest-translator, someone with direct access to the language and culture of the poet being translated. Our guest-translators select the poet we work with and are available at the workshop to provide context about the text and help unknot tricky questions about the original language.

This season we will be working with poet and translator Alireza Abiz to translate Persian poet Farzaneh Ghavami, journalist, translator and writer Christina Ng to look at Chinese poetry by Dan Ying, mental health researcher Ibrahim Hirsi to discover new Somali poetry and linguist, writer and translator Jon Herring to look at contemporary Spanish poetry from Argentina.

Leading each session is the poet-facilitator, who helps the participants move towards to translation that works as an English language poem. The poet-facilitator looks to use the collective knowledge and insight of everyone at the workshop to recreate the poem in English.

Each session takes place online and is easily accessed via Zoom, making them accessible to poets, poetry lovers, emerging translators and the linguistically curious all across the world, even it the time difference might mean you will be joining us from the depths of the local AM.

You can save money by buying a season pass for all four workshops in the PTC’s Spring Season of Poetry Translation Workshops facilitated by leading poets Leo Boix and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún. Get your workshop season pass here.

Poet facilitators

In Spring 2024 Leo Boix, and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún will be our poet facilitators. Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a Nigerian writer who has worked for many years as a linguist (recently at Google), lexicographer (at Oxford English Dictionary), Fulbright scholar (Southern Illinois University), schoolteacher, and currently Chevening Research Fellow at the British Library in London. Túbọ̀sún has worked with the PTC in the past translating Yoruba poetry and will be facilitating three of this season’s workshops.

Leo Boix, is an Argentine-British poet, translator and journalist based in the UK. He is the author of an English collection, Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021) and two Spanish collections, Un lugarpropio (2015) and Mar de noche (2017). He co-directs Invisible Presence, a scheme to nurture young Latinx poets in the UK. Boix received the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize Award in 2018 and the Keats-Shelly Prize in 2019.

Boix will be returning to facilitate the first workshop of the season, to complete a translation of Farzaneh Ghavami’s poem ‘Railings Around the Crib’ with Alireza Abiz.

Monday 5th of February 2024

Translate Persian poetry by Farzaneh Ghavami

With guest-translator Alireza Abiz and poet-facilitator Leo Boix

At this session we will be returning to an unfinished translation from our last season ‘Railings Around the Crib’ by Farzaneh Ghavami, a leading feminist poet from Iran, whose poetry reflects her lived experience as a woman living and working under a dictatorship system that suppresses women and femininity.

Monday, 19th of February 2024

Translating Chinese-language poet Dan Ying

With guest-translator Christina Ng and poet-facilitator Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Journalist and translator Christina Ng introduces the work of Dan Ying, who is widely recognised as a major Chinese poet. Dan Ying’s career as a poet has spanned decades. Now in her 80s she is known for subtle and profound works influenced by classical Chinese poetry and Buddhist and Taoist philosophies, building a portrait of an inner world rich in metaphor and meaning.

Monday, 4th March 2024

Translating Spanish-language Argentinian poet Paula Galindez

With guest-translator Jon Herring and poet-facilitator Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Jon Herring will be presenting one of Paula Galindez’s recent poems at a PTC workshop. The poem we will be looking at is Llueve sobre tus ojos claros / It rains on your clear eyes from Galindez’ forthcoming collection Subterráneo, about the dictatorship and the disappearance of her uncle. In 2023 Paula Galindez and Jon Herring both took part in the PTC’s Queer Digital Residency.

Monday, 18th March 2024

Translating Somali-language Poetry

With guest-translator Ibrahim Hirsi and poet-facilitator Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Somalia has been called a ‘Nation of Poets’ thanks to the importance poetry enjoys within the culture. The PTC has been translating Somali poetry for close to two decades. In this workshop we continue our infatuation with this Somali verse by inviting Ibrahim Hirsi, a digital Somali cultural archivist to introduce us to new poetry from the horn of Africa. Poet TBC.

Events from Spring 2024 Poetry Translation Workshops