Series: Translating Lewisham

We jump back into in-person workshops with a Deptford High Street Poetry Trail and a series of eight weekly collaborative translation workshops.

It's been a long wait but we are back in person and looking forward to welcoming you to our workshop space at The Albany! This spring we are delighted to present Translating Lewisham, a season celebrating the languages and communities of our borough through dual language poetry.

Deptford High Street Poetry Trail

Ngày xuân con én đưa thoi,

Thiều quang chín chục đã ngoài sáu mươi.
Cỏ non xanh tận chân trời,
Cành lê trắng điểm một vài bông hoa.

Swallows and spring days fly like shuttles

over green lawns splashed with white petals
from the branches of the pear trees.

Extract from The Song of Kiều by Nguyen Du, translated by Timothy Allen

Launching the season is a poetry trail along Deptford High Street (until 25th April), giving a taster of Timothy Allen’s new translation of Đoạn trường tân thanh (The new cry of a broken heart), popularly known as Truyện Kiều (The Tale of Kiều), an epic written by the great poet Nguyễn Du. It is considered to be the most widely recognised poem in the Vietnamese language. Consisting of 3,254 verses written in the lục bát (six-eight) format, it follows the tumultuous and tragic life of Thúy Kiều, a talented and beautiful young woman who lived during the Ming dynasty.

A classic of modern literature, the work has become an integral part of Vietnamese culture, both appearing in folk cultural references, and inspiring formal art forms such as theatre, music, and visual art. You’ll find the trail along starting at Viet Anh Pho and finishing at our very own office and workshop space at The Albany! The full map of the trail can be found below, and we thank the local businesses below who have been so kind in lending us their window space for the trail. Individual lines are located at:

1. Viet Anh Pho - 8 Deptford Broadway

2. New Dimension Beauty and Barber Salon - 8 Deptford High Street

3. EBIS Collection - 17 Deptford High Street

4. Chi Mai Hair and Beauty - 24 Deptford High Street

5. Isla Ray - 37 Deptford High Street

6. Laundrette Deptford - 47 Deptford High Street

7. Phone Services Ltd - 105 Deptford High Street

8. The Albany - Douglas Way

Translating Lewisham Workshops

From April to June we will offer a season of translation workshops exploring some of the languages spoken in Lewisham, as part of Lewisham Borough of Culture 2022. Our poet-facilitator is the fantastic Helen Bowell. We'll be looking at poems in Arabic, Bengali, French, Italian, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese under the guidance of expert translators. Each week we’ll work together to open up a poem in its original language and reassemble it in English. A rough and ready guide translation is provided, so there is no need to know the language being translated. Just bring yourself and your love of words!

Whether you are a seasoned poet or translator or have never tried anything like this before, PTC workshops are the perfect way to keep you feeling creative, engaged and connected to the world at large.

In this season we will be offering workshops looking at poetry in Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Bengali. The workshops will be facilitated by Helen Bowell, a London-based poet and co-director of Dead [Women] Poets Society and writer, critic and editor April Yee.


Season Pass

You can get a great value season pass giving you access to all eight workshops in our Translating Lewisham series at a lower price: £110.00 for general admission or £70.00 concession for students, the unwaged or Lewisham residents. The discount means you will be getting on workshop for free.

Get your season pass here.


Social Prescribing

You can attend our Translating Lewisham workshops for free via Lewisham’s Social Prescribing service. Social prescribing helps to improve your well-being by connecting you to non-medical support in the community. To refer yourself or someone else to the service head over to the One Health Lewisham website and fill in a simple form.

Lewisham Borough of Culture

This project is supported by the Lewisham Borough of Culture scheme, a year-long programme of events that puts Lewisham and its community in the spotlight, focusing on the themes of diversity and climate change, encouraging locals and visitors to take action.

Events from Translating Lewisham