Day 23: Small Press Advent Calendar: POETRY TRANSLATION CENTRE

day 23Next up is a publisher that focuses solely on the, sometimes contentions, subject of poetry in translation. Their explanation for doing this reminded me why translating poetry, although difficult, is a very important thing to do. Door 24 features…

‘Poems’ by Azita Ghahreman, Published by Poetry Translation Centre

The Poetry Translation Centre, established by the poet Sarah Maguire in 2004, translates contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America to a high literary standard. They believe that:

“Poetry thrives on translation: it’s impossible to imagine English poetry without it. From Chaucer, via Wyatt, Dryden and Pope, to Ezra Pound’s Cathay, translation has been its life-blood.

But English poetry has yet to engage with the rich poetic traditions of the many languages now spoken in the UK; for Islamic communities in particular, poetry is a particularly significant art form. Our work aims to redress that deficiency.

By making their poetry at home in English, we aim to celebrate the cultures of communities that are frequently neglected and abused in the UK, inviting them to play a vital role in British cultural life.”

Poems‘ by Azita Ghahreman, trans. byMaura Dooley & Elhum Shakerifar, is an introductory collection of Azita’s work, and features her poems in the Farsi language they were written in, with the translated English version alongside.

poemsAzita Ghahreman, born in Mashhad in 1962, is one of Iran’s leading poets. She has published four collections of poetry: Eve’s Songs (1983), Sculptures of Autumn (1986), Forgetfulness is a Simple Ritual (1992) and The Suburb of Crows (2008), a collection reflecting on he exile in Sweden (where she has lived since 2006).

Her poems directly address questions of female desire and challenge the accepted position of women.

If you are intrigued, you can buy the book direct from the Poetry Translation Centre for £4.00.

If you’d like to try before you buy, you can actually just download yourself a free pdf from the same site. Can’t be bad!

[Day 23 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘That time we said we’d be back on the 23rd’ by Stephanie Chan]

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