Of Their Eyes Adorned with Crystal Sands by Coral Bracho
It has been decided that the Mexican poet Coral Bracho's originals will go first, preceding Katherine Pierpoint's English versions. Bracho nods and gives a little smile across the stage as each one comes to an end. She grasps and stirs the air as she tries to explain a poem which captures the ebb and flow of water, then bobs and sways in the eddies of it as she reads.
I ask Katherine Pierpoint how she has found the process. She is quick to stress the help she had from Dr Tom Boll, who gave her literal translations of the Spanish originals. "This three-way process of working in a team has been particularly rewarding," she says, though she did sometimes have doubts about the project. "There are times when you ask yourself whether you're just translating the content of the poem and not the value."
She sees the role of a translator as conveying the essence of an original. "It's Coral's party," she says, "you're just there as a channel." Perhaps this puts a subconscious restraint on her performance. "Normally I'm a terrible swayer," she says.