Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Tag: translation

The poetry of the interpreters

My hands, I mean my head,
Curlessness, the sandal of the lady,
I coat my shoulder
Sleeve is taken away!
I prefer physical exercise in the garden of loneliness
Doctor narrated as a story the mountains of criss cross.
Don’t ask me if this is my poetry.
Are you the rower who is going to rob my life from me?
You are more lethal than cane.
Who do this sprouting?
I climbed death,
I more than a wound you can wind me.
My loneliness glasses have been shattered!
I wanted to be made available.
I am not like other autumn scissors.

This poem is brought to you by the interpreters of the Niniti International Literature Festival. I took part in the festival and the Reel Iraq translation workshop in Shaqlawa and Erbil in Kurdistan, Iraq last month. My blog about how understanding, misunderstanding and communication figure in the art of poetry translation is up on the Reel Festivals website. I am incredibly grateful to Reel and to all the people who made this encounter happen.  You can read the blog here.

Found in translation at the Niniti International Literature Festival, Erbil, Iraq

Found in translation at the Niniti International Literature Festival, Erbil, Iraq

Iraq

Today I travel to Erbil in Kurdistan in Iraq to take part in a translation workshop and the Niniti Literature Festival. The trip is organised by the remarkable Reel Festivals in collaboration with Art Role and the British Council.

You can read more about the trip here including who’s taking part on the Reel website. Look out for blogs from the participants, including myself.

Some things I have been reading/watching in translation in order to learn something about the region:

– The Iraqi Christ – short stories (stories of stories) by Hassan Blasim, translated into English by Jonathan Wright

Son of Babylon – a film by Mohamed Al Daradji

Poems from the last Reel Iraq festival workshop by several Iraqi poets translated into English by a group Scottish poets and performed at the festival in London last year. Plus blogs from the participating poets.

 

– this film about the Iraqi poet Manan Al-Sheikh by Roxana Vilk from the Al-Jazeera Poets of Protest series. 

– Fiction, poetry and interviews in the Words Without Borders Kurdish issue

– poems by  Sinan Antoon

– www.jadaliyya.com

– the wonderfully informative Arabic Literature in English blog

en castellano

I’m thrilled that  two of my poems have been translated into Spanish recently.

Following (mind-expanding) travels to Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Chile as part of the Forgetting Chatwin journey Argentinian poet Marina C Kohon has translated my poem ‘Tiny Nudist Colony’.  You can read ‘Pequeña Colonia Nudista’ in translation and the original on her blog. There you can also find translations of some of the  Welsh poets who travelled to Patagonia with me: Karen Owen, Mererid Hopwood, Tiffany Atkinson and Richard Gwyn.

In 2012 one of my poems was among thousands dropped – or bombed rather – out of a helicopter above London’s South Bank.  Casagrande, the Chilean collective, showered the crowds at the Poetry Parnassus festival with little strips of paper, each printed with a poem in English and Spanish. The way they fluttered down in the light was quite mesmerising, as was the sight of people running, jumping and clambering over each other to catch a poem. The bombed poems have now been published in a book which, alongside poetry from young UK poets, a poet from each Olympic country and several fantastic Chilean poets, contains my poem ‘I want to do everything’ in English and also translated into Spanish by Chilean poet Kurt Folch.

Gŵyl Farddoniaeth Ryngwladol Gogledd Cymru / North Wales International Poetry Festival

Next week is the second Gŵyl Farddoniaeth Ryngwladol Gogledd Cymru – the North Wales International Poetry Festival. A brilliant lineup of poets from across Europe will be performing at events in Bangor, Mold, Aberystwyth, Caernarfon and Portmeirion. I’ll be performing with them at an event at the Blue Sky Cafe in Bangor on Friday the 18th of October.  Here is the programme (in pdf) NWIPF folded flyer and NWIPF folded flyer. Or visit: http://www.northwalesinternationalpoetryfestival.org.

I’m also blogging for the festival at http://northwalesinternationalpoetryfestival.blogspot.co.uk  starting with brief interviews with the poets involved.
NWIPF flyer