Transreading Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Transreading Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Produce work inspired by the poetries of Europe's heartland

On this course with poet and literary translator Jen Calleja, students will celebrate some of the greatest highlights in German-language poetry by writing English ‘versions’ and original poems in response to great texts by classic and contemporary writers. Students will both produce a creative portfolio of poetry inspired by the best of German literature, and get a bespoke overview of well-known and lesser known poets. We will explore the amazing ways the poetry of Germany, Austria and Switzerland has influenced and stimulated English-language poetry – not solely through traditional translation, but also through all kinds of creative experimentation – and students will also gain an insight into the craft of literary translation. We hope that students will leave this course inspired for their future poetry, and eager to learn more about German literature and the German language. Students do not need any language other than English to follow the course.

Transreading courses – co-curated with Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese – invite us to read poems brought to English by translation, English-language poems inhabiting other cultures, and multilingual poems whose English hosts other tongues. We translate texts and/or compose new poems in response to our readings; in this process of trans-reading and trans-writing we open our poetries to the multi-literate world.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

Image credit: yumikrum

About Jen Calleja View Profile

Jen Calleja is a writer and literary translator from the German. Her poetry collection, Serious Justice, was published by Test Centre in 2016, and her pamphlet Hamburger in the Archive was published this year by If a Leaf Falls Press. Her poetry has appeared in Ambit, Broadly, Disclaimer, Funhouse, and the anthologies Austrian Illuminations: New Literary Artworks in Response to Elfriede Jelinek, Erick Fried and Peter Handke (ACF, 2018) and Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry (Ignota Press, 2018). She has translated over a dozen works of German literature, and her translations of prose and poetry have been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, The New Yorker, Granta and The White Review. Jen was the first Translator in Residence at the British Library, where she teaches a masterclass in creative translation, and she writes a column on translated literature for the Brixton Review of Books. Her translation of Marion Poschmann’s The Pine Islands was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019.

‘I had no idea that my first Poetry School course 8 years ago would be the start of a lifelong journey for me—one that now includes an MA, a competition win, various long-listings, and publication. I keep coming back to PS because of the range of inspiring tutors & courses and because of the lovely sense of community.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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