Category: Essays

Three Mexican Poets

Tom Boll introduces the work of the three distinguished Mexican poets, Coral Bracho, David Huerta and Victor Teran, each of whom ‘offers a distinctive version of what it means to live in Mexico today’.

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Some Thoughts on Co-Translating Gaarriye

W N Herbert offers a fascinating insight into how he approached co-translating Somali poetry. In this essay he describes his induction into the marvellous complexities of Somali verse and how he came to terms with the formal dexterities of Gaarriye’s ‘non-lyric’ poetry.

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Translating Corsino Fortes

Prize-winning translator, Daniel Hahn, writes about how he approached translating Corsino Fortes’s poems with Sean O’Brien. This was Daniel’s first experience of translating poetry, and his first as a co-translator and he’s very interesting on how he felt his role was to ‘defend’ the original poems.

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Translating Farzaneh Khojandi

Jo Shapcott enthuses about the ‘magic’ of translating Farzaneh Khojandi with Narguess Farzad. She talks about the ‘daunting’ challenges she faced coming to terms with a poet whose work ‘seemed worlds away from the modern, urban context of my own work’.

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Translating Kajal Ahmad

Mimi Khalvati expresses her desire to preserve, ‘The sweetness and simplicity of [Kajal’s] voice, the political and personal passion, the directness and immediacy of the address ... [together with her] sense of humour and the fable-like quality of the poems’, in the translations she made with Choman Hardi.

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Listening to Noshi Gillani

Lavinia Greenlaw writes about the impact that listening to Noshi Gillani read her poems had on her translations: ‘I had in my head Emily Dickinson’s dashes - how they hold the parts of her poems in mid-air, or the artist Cornelia Parker’s suspended cutlery and blown-up shed.’

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