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Verve Poetry Festival - Poetry Translation Workshop


Have a go at collaborative translation and help us give poetry from around the world a second life in English. Award-winning poet Clare Pollard and translator Delaina Haslam lead this hands-on workshop on French-language poet Gabriel Okoundji from the Republic of Congo.

The Poetry Translation Centre has been running poetry translation workshops for over ten years, bringing together poets, translators and enthusiasts to uncover poets from around the world and bring their work into English. To date, we have translated 492 poems from 29 languages.

There is no need to know the language being translated, just come along!

Gabriel Mwènè Okoundji was born in Okondo-Ewo, Republic of Congo, in 1962. His mixing with Occitan writers was a determining factor for the development of his poetry, and Occitan was the first language in which he was published. Often incorporating untranslated words and phrases of his mother tongue, Tegué, into his work, Gabriel Okoundji prefers to describe himself as a passeur (intermediary or ferryman) than as a poet, with the task of transporting the words, stories, and voices of his birthplace elsewhere.

Clare Pollard is an award-winning poet and the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation Magazine. Born in Bolton in 1978, Pollard studied at Cambridge University. Her first poetry collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, was published in 1998. She won a Society of Authors travel award and an Arts Council writer’s award in 2003. Her third collections Look, Clare! Look! (2005) was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. Her fourth collection Changeling (2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and her latest is Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017).

Delaina Haslam is a translator, editor and writer. She translates from French and Spanish, specialising in sociological and literary texts. She worked in journalism and publishing in Madrid and London before studying translation. She has written for and edited publications including InMadrid magazine and le cool London. She has had a submission accepted for Newcastle University’s Poettrios Experiment, and performed collaborative translation at Sheffield’s Wordlife open mic night. She is currently translating a short story for the new Bogotá39 anthology (to be published by Oneworld in May 2018).

Day Pass

To attend this event you will need a Verve Poetry Festival day pass for Saturday 17th of February. This festival pass gets you entry into all events at the festival for the day. You can see a full line-up here.

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