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Translating Poetries: A Symposium for Translation Practitioners

SOAS University of London

Thursday the 12th and Friday the 13th of September 2019

The Translating Poetries symposium will look at approaches to translating poetry from less widely known languages. This event, organised jointly by SOAS and the Poetry Translation Centre, will bring together translators and academics from around the world for a two-day event held at SOAS University of London. The aim of the conference is to deal with the practice of poetry translation, looking at the thoughts and decisions that necessarily inform every translation process.

The symposium will open with a keynote talk by poet and translator Mamta Sagar (India), and close with an in-conversation event featuring poet Abdilatif Abdalla (Kenya) and leading Swahili translator Annmarie Drury (USA).

There will be a host of panels and other events across both days:

Day One

- Ethics of translating poetry
- Translating oral poetry, endangered languages and early
- Translating form
- Beyond the literary in translation

- Translating Possibilities: public event

Day Two

- Poetry as sound: challenges and approaches in translation
- Models of translation
- In-conversation: Abdilatif Abdalla and Annmarie Drury on translating Swahili poetry
- Sharing Poetries
- Publishing and promoting translated poetries

This event is not open to the public and the delegate list has been finalised. If you would like more information about Translating Poetries you can email Bern Roche Farrelly on

Also, on the evening on Thursday the 12th the symposium programme includes a public event, Translating Possibilities, an evening of performances celebrating cutting edge poetry translation practitioners. If you are interested in supporting the symposium and want a chance to meet some of the delegates you can book a place for this event here.

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