Foreign Objects: Poetry in Translation

Foreign Objects: Poetry in Translation

Explore innovative and exciting works of translation, as inspiration for innovating your own poetics.

* This course will take place on video-conferencing platform ZOOM *

Against the common view that translated literature is inferior or difficult, we will discover how reading in translation can be both enjoyable and augment our writing practice. Our course will focus on contemporary poets and translators whose emergence in the Anglo-American landscape has broken new ground in terms of how we think about form, experimentation, and the relationship between politics and poetry.  

We will look at a range of poets and translators including Raul Zurita (trans. Anna Deeny, and William Rowe), Etel Adnan (trans. Adnan herself), Cecilia Vicuna (trans. Rosa Alcala), Rosmarie Waldop (her translations of Edmond Jabès and Jacques Edmond Jabès and Jacques Roubaud), Erin Mouré (her translations of Chus Pato), and Eliot Weinberger.  

In each class, we will closely read the works of one poet/translator and uncover new techniques, approaches and methods, which we will then use as a springboard for our writing experiments. For instance, we will read selections from Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei to understand how a single idea (even one as simple as a patch of moss) can be constructed in numerous ways to emphasise different elements of the poem. Guided by internationally acclaimed writers, we will read widely and get inspired to innovate in the English language!  

The course is designed for beginners and the participants are not expected to be multilingual – we will translate in class using transliterations. All students on this course will receive a 20% discount code for subscriptions to Modern Poetry in Translation.

5 fortnightly Zoom sessions on Wednesdays, 7–9pm (BST/GMT), starts 5 October 2022. To apply for a concession rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. More information about how our Video Courses work can be found on the Video Courses page. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]. 

Image credit: Girl with red hat

About Janani Ambikapathy & Gizem Okulu View Profile

Janani Ambikapathy is a poet, critic and a translator. She was born and raised in Chennai. She got her Ph.D in English at the University of Cambridge. Her essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in Modernism/Modernity, Modern Poetry in Translation, Lana Turner, Hopscotch Translation, Datableed, The Rialto, and Visual Verse, amongst others. Two of her poetry pamphlets are forthcoming this year from Veer Books and Materials. She is currently working on translations of Akkananuru, an anthology of classical Tamil poems from 3rd century CE. 

Gizem Okulu is a Turkish poet who writes in both English and Turkish. She is the author of Too Sliced for Landing (Materials, 2017), Master Island (Tipped Press, 2018), and most recently Now, Voyager (Veer Books, 2021) in English, and Şimdi, Voyager (Kaos Çocuk Parkı Yayınları, 2022) in Turkish. Her work has been translated into Polish, Spanish, and Turkish. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. 

'The Poetry School provides excellent learning opportunities and broader access to poetry in many forms, both conventional and more esoteric.'

- Spring 2022 survey response

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