‘My Voice offers us a vision of what poetry can be, bending the English language into different shapes and directions, and I would say that it is essential reading for anyone writing poetry in the UK today.’ Chrissy Williams, Poetry London
This collection of international poems is a revelatory tool for the poet who wants to rediscover their own mother tongue made new. It contains work by poets from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, translated into vivid and original English by poets and translators working with the Poetry Translation Centre. Own your own copy and be free to dip into poems from 26 countries, in languages ranging from Arabic to Zapotec, by 45 of the world’s leading contemporary poets. Poems are presented in both the original language and a facing-page English translation by award-winning poets and translators. With an introduction by Sarah Maguire, founder of the Poetry Translation Centre, this is language at its most surreal, dangerous and beautiful.
‘Poetry is the mine-seeker
opening your old, scarred-over hurt,
discovering your untouched earth…
…it shows you where to point the gun’ Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac (‘Gaarriye’), Somalia: ‘Seer’
Themes of displacement and exile give way to themes of home and love, and the work of writing poetry itself is one theme common across languages and countries. The book is completed by a series of essays by translators which explore the art and process of translation itself, the work done by the Poetry Translation Centre over two decades to explore language to its utter ends.
‘These hollow ghosts
with their gorgeous clothes
and dazzling pendants on long chains,
and breadth perfumed with the scent of Europe -
from the pulpit of time, with fancy words
they talk deceit as if it were truth.’ Farzaneh Khojandi, Tajikistan, ‘Must Escape’
Translation is the lifeblood of poetry. The Poetry Translation Centre aims to enrich the English poetic tradition and encourage poets to form friendships across borders. By making diverse poetries at home in English we aim to celebrate the UK’s many literary traditions. We also want to open windows onto the many cultures that live side by side in the UK, especially those that have been sidelined or misunderstood.
‘This anthology is quite simply a treasure.’ Leah Fritz, Acumen
RRP £12, reduced to £9
Size: 234 x 156mm, 384 pages
Languages: Various, English
Co-publisher: Bloodaxe Books