Part of: Poetry Translation Workshops 2018: January - March Season Pass Translating Arabic poetry with Alice Guthrie
The Poetry Translation Centre
Arabic translator Alice Guthrie first worked with the Poetry Transition Centre last year when we brought our workshops to the International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay. She returns to look again at the same Arabic poets from Syria, Egypt and Iraq. You can read her blog post about translating a poem by Iraqi poet Kadhem Khanjar in the peaceful surroundings of Torquay here.
There is no need to know the language being translated, just come along!
Ameer Hussein is a Syrian Kurdish poet who writes in both Kurdish and Arabic. As a Kurd growing up in Syria under a regime that banned his mother tongue, he learnt to write in Kurdish without any support and outside of any institution. He was part of a group of young poets who published Inferno, a Kurdish and Arabic poetry magazine that was censored in Syria.
Basma Abdel Aziz is an award-winning Egyptian writer, sculptor, psychiatrist and activist. A long-standing vocal critic of government oppression in Egypt, she writes a weekly political commentary column and is the author of several works of non-fiction. She was named one of Foreign Policy's Leading Global Thinkers 2016. Her poetry has first translated into English, at a PTC workshop, in 2016.
Kadhem Khanjar is a poet and performer from Iraq. Along with some friends, he set up a project called ‘the Culture Militia’, a group which performs poetry in sites of destruction and death including blown-up cars, minefields, ambulances, ISIS cages, and mass graves. His collection Picnic with an Explosive Belt was published in Arabic by Dar al-Maktutat in the Netherlands.
Alice Guthrie is a translator, editor and event producer specialising in contemporary Arabic literature and media. Since 2008 her translations have appeared in a range of international publications and venues, her work often focussing on Syria, where she studied Arabic between 2001 and 2003. She is curator and producer of the literary strand of Shubbak, London’s biennial festival of Arab arts and culture.
Clare-Pollard is an award-winning poet and the editor of Modern Poetry In Translation. As a writer, Clare is very concerned with bearing witness to the times in which we live. Her work has frequently engaged with contemporary concerns. Her third collection Look, Clare! Look! (2005) was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. Her latest collection is Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017).