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Part of: The Poetry Translation Centre's Latinx Showcase The Forensic and the Fantastic – Latinx poets at the British Library

British Library

WritersMosaic and the Poetry Translation Centre in collaboration with the Eccles Centre and Un Nuevo Sol present an evening of Latinx poetry with multimedia performances and Afro-Colombian music.

Hosted by writer Amanda Vilanova, poets in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Quechua will explore acts of translation between cultures and across media to bring the living poetry of Latin America to the British Library. Using the principle of haymay, an indigenous Quechua word for collaboration, musicians Akolá Tambó will dialogue with poets Oscar Guardiola-Rivera and Gaby Sambuccetti, while the Latinx creatives of Un Nuevo Sol bring performance and video installations to their live acts of translation. These creatives have collaboratively produced four new translations of poems in Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua and English with the Poetry Translation Centre, which they will premiere with a one-off interdisciplinary performance this evening.

More about the artists

Akolá Tambó, with its trance-inducing bullerengue, presents a blaze of traditional Afro-Colombian beats that will take you on a journey to reconnect to the root. A high dose of drums, dance and mantra-like chants gives birth to this ancestral ritual in which everyone is invited to take part, unify their voices and become one.

Amanda Vilanova is a Puerto Rican writer, actor, and translator based in London. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA in Acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2019, she wrote and performed Hurricane Diaries at the Blue Elephant Theatre. She has also translated various plays for Puerto Rico Theatre Lab and others.

Gaby Sambuccetti was born in Argentina and teaches Latin American and Spanish literature. She holds a MA from King’s College London where she won the Cosmo Davenport-Hines poetry prize for 2022. Her latest book is The Good, the Bad & the Poet (2020), and she is currently studying a PGCE in Modern Languages at Oxford University.

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is a poet and award-winning author who teaches philosophy and human rights in London. He is being educated by his kin – wordsmiths among the native peasant community of Las Pavas in northern Colombia, people whom he has accompanied for twenty years. His further writing in Night of the World Book Two is forthcoming in 2024 (the87press).

Poet Marina Sánchez is a mix of Indigenous Mexican, Spanish and British origins. Her poetry has been published in literary journals including The Shop, Artemis, South Bank, Acumen, Obsessed with Pipework, The Reader magazine, Anima Press, Second Light, Save As Writers, Poetry News and more, and on The Royal Society of Literature’s Write Across London.

Translator Jon Herring is a linguist, and translator from Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan. He studied Spanish and French literature, taught English in Madrid and Bilbao, and lectured in linguistics at Oxford and Sussex. He is currently doing an MA in Literary Translation at UEA in Norwich.

Poet Raúl Cisneros comes from the peasant community of Pariamarca, Peru, where he was a farmer, cattle herder, and baker. Then he studied to be a literature teacher at the San Cristobal de Huamanga National University. He has developed poetry, community theatre and songs in Quechua communities and the Amazon.

Translator Constantina Higbee comes from Peru and now lives in London. Her mother language is Quechua, she also speaks Spanish and English. She works with the Rimanakuy community to teach the Quechua language and Peruvian culture in London. She also runs a Peruvian dance group.

Poet Suene Honorato is a literature professor at the Federal University of Ceará, in Brazil. She was a Portuguese language teacher at the Federal University of Tocantins. N'oré îukaî xûéne! is her first book of poems. The title comes from a Tulpi language expression meaning ‘They won’t kill us!’

Translator Francisco Vilhena translates from the Portuguese; his co-translation of Adelaide Ivánova's the hammer and other poems was shortlisted for the 2020 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. He was a White Review contributing editor and his work appears in Granta, Modern Poetry in Translation and Asymptote.

Poet Tania Montenegro co-founded Imagen (Impossible Grouping of Noxious Writers) and was a member of ANIDE (Association Nicaraguan Women Writers’ Association). As a feminist writer and journalist, she has worked with Nicaraguan and Central American media.

Translator Helen Dixon is a British/Canadian/Nicaraguan queer feminist writer and translator. Her books are Flight Over the Abyss/Vuelo sobre el abismo (Nicaraguan Writers Union CNE Managua 2003) and Olimpia/Olympia (beyond borders, Reykjavik 2006).

Their work will be performed by: Cristina Reynoso, Paula Catalina Fajardo Riofrío, Patrizia Longhitano, José Buera, Alba Frederick, Lester Gómez Medina, Andrea Puerta and Sim Pereira-Madder

More about the partners

WritersMosaic, a division of the Royal Literary Fund, is a developmental resource and online magazine, celebrating and showcasing UK writers of the global majority to reflect the changing reality of contemporary Britain, from its past and into its future.

The Royal Literary Fund
(founded in 1790) is a charity that helps writers in financial need, and annually delivers over £5 million in grants, education, and outreach programmes.

Poetry Translation Centre
is dedicated to translating, publishing, and promoting contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America. It champions diversity in the arts and forges enduring relations with diaspora communities in the UK.

Un Nuevo Sol
develops British Latinx writers and builds bridges with Latinx/Latin American writers worldwide. Its groundbreaking anthology Un Nuevo Sol British Latinx Writers (flipped eye) was published in November 2019.

Latin American House
(LAH) supports disadvantaged Latin Americans and vulnerable Portuguese and Spanish speakers throughout London and nationwide.

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