Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dublin-Guadalajara poetry exchange

I'm really excited to be involved as the Dublin curator/editor of this project - part of a series of city-to-city collaborative poetry projects headed by Mexico's EBL-Cielo Abierto publishing house - as well as participating poet: at the end of last year 7 poets from Dublin were partnered with 7 from Guadalajara to exchange selections of their work and render the work of their collaborator into their language, be it English or Spanish. A resulting anthology, Centrifugal: Contemporary Poetry from Dublin and Guadalajara, is due out in September from EBL-Cielo Abierto as a dual-language volume, with support from Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA). There are unconfirmed plans for public presentations of the book in both cities.

The poet pairings are as follows:

Alan Jude Moore & Xitlálitil Rodríguez
Anamaría Crowe Serrano & Mónica Nepote
Catherine Walsh & Laura Solórzano
Christodoulos Makris & Luis Eduardo García
John Kearns & José Eugenio Sánchez
Kimberly Campanello & Ángel Ortuño
Kit Fryatt & Ricardo Castillo

In initiating the project (whose Guadalajara curator is Ángel Ortuño) last summer, our interest lay in collaboration and experimentation, and in challenging what is understood by the term 'translation'. The emphasis is on re-interpretation rather than traditional translation: the poems were to become new in the hands of the partner poet while continuing to bear the poetic core of the original.

My versions of five poems by Luis Eduardo García are a fusion of translation and re-interpretation, riddled with misunderstandings and errors. What excited me most about this project, in addition to the cross-national and -language collaborative element, was the chance to encourage and present the differing approaches to this process that each participant chooses or is forced to adopt. Having seen the original pieces - which include 'untranslatable' material as well as some already in the opposite language - and some of the reinterpretations/versions/responses, I'm happy to report that the project's experimentally-minded premise is yielding some amazing results.

Keep watching this space for more on publication details & launch dates.

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