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Part of: 6 New Poets from Kazakhstan Online Workshop Series Kazakh poet Akberen Yelgezek Workshop


Akberen Yelgezek’s poems are distinguished by strikingly unusual images and surrealist expressions deriving from dreams and the subconscious rather than reason and logic.

The workshop will be led by UK poet Jon Stone and guest translator Assiya Issemberdiyeva.

The PTC is presenting a series of translation workshops exploring some of the best poetry from Kazakhstan. Through December and January there will be sessions taking a close look at six contemporary Kazakh poets, in partnersip with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK.

Our online poetry translation workshops can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Join in to meet poetry lovers, translators and poets from across the globe, then get to know each other as you share insights and language skills, working together to open up a poem in its original language and reassemble it into an English translation.

We have had participants from the UK, Ireland, Nigeria, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The workshops are the perfect way to keep you feeling creative, engaged and connected to the world at large. A rough and ready guild translation is provided by the guest translator so there is no need to know the language being translated, simply sign up and bring your love of language.

This online workshop will take place over Zoom in one two-hour session.

'Pay-What-You-Can' Pricing

We want to keep our workshop experience as accessible as possible so we are operating this activity on a 'Pay-What-You-Can' donation basis.

The Poet

Akberen Yelgezek is a poet and public figure. He has held senior positions at various administrative and arts organisations. He is the first deputy chairman of the Union of Writers of Kazakhstan. Yelgezek’s poems are distinguished by strikingly unusual images and surrealist expressions deriving from dreams and the subconscious rather than reason and logic. A key to many of his poems can be found in his autobiographical tale Bolmaġan balalyķ šaķ (The Childhood that Never Happened), published in 2014 to great acclaim. His verses have been translated into three languages and included in international anthologies. He has also translated the poetry of foreign writers into Kazakh. He has been awarded the Serper Prize of the Union of Youth of Kazakhstan and the State Youth Award Daryn, as well as the Altyn Ķalam Public Prize.

The Facilitator

Jon Stone is a Derbyshire-based writer, editor and lecturer. He was awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 2012, and his debut collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. As an editor at Sidekick Books, he co-conceived and published Bad Kid Catullus, an anthology of modern, experimental translations of the Roman poet which was selected by The Guardian as one of the top 10 poetry anthologies of 2018. A monograph, Dual Wield: The Interplay of Poetry and Videogames, is due to be published by DeGruyter in 2021.

The Translator

Assiya Issemberdiyeva has worked for more than 10 years in various media specialising in film, theatre and literature reviews. She has translated films, cartoons and academic books from English and Russian into Kazakh. She is currently writing my MA dissertation on contemporary Kazakh cinema at Queen Mary University London.

Full Details

To try and make the online experience as enjoyable and manageable as possible, places will be restricted - if you book please do make sure you can attend.

Workshop materials and the log-in details to join the sessions with easy to follow instructions, will be sent out by email after you book your place.

• The PTC will deliver these workshops online via Zoom.
• This online series will follow our usual workshop format, working as a group to translate the poem line by line.
• Working from a guide translation of the original poem, guided by a translator and poet to facilitate the sessions.
• One session lasting two hours.
• We will share the original poem and the guide translation in advance that the group will be working from.
• On Tuesday 19 January 20201, 18:30-20:30 BST.
• Pay-What-You-Can donation when reserving your ticket.


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