Published by EBL Cielo-Abierto / CONACULTA, December 2014
co-edited by Christodoulos Makris and Ángel Ortuño
ISBN: 9786075167701

Price: €15.00


7 poets from Dublin and 7 from Guadalajara exchange selections of their work in pairs and render the work of their partner poet in the opposite language. The emphasis is on re-interpretation rather than traditional translation: the poems become new in the hands of the partner poet while bearing the poetic core of the original.

Centrifugal investigates the multiple possibilities of meaning released through the transfer of texts between languages. The poets' responses range from rewrites to deliberate mistranslations to dialogues with the originals to entirely new poems. Some make use of a near native-level knowledge of the opposite language, and some require literal translations of the source texts; others resort to dictionaries, web searches or Google Translate.

The writing presented in Centrifugal "strays from the centre, away from the main stream of how poetry and translation are expected to behave". In addition to providing a record of the work of some of the outstanding poets currently writing in the two cities, this book stands as a significant contribution to the exploration of the relationships between language, geography, identity and poetry.

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

what they said about Centrifugal

[Anamaria] Crowe-Serrano also features as translator, though also as poet, in the collection Centrifugal: Poesía contemporánea de Guadalajara y Dublin / Contemporary Poetry of Guadalajara and Dublin edited by Ángel Ortuño and Christodoulos Makris (Conaculta/EBL Cielo Abierto). This features seven poets apiece from Ireland and Mexico, each translated by the other and again all presented in parallel translation (source language on the verso, target on the recto). As Makris notes in his introduction, for the Irish poets involved, it is a collection less about national identity (three of the seven – Kit Fryatt, Kimberly Campanello, and Makris himself – were born outside Ireland) than about writing and language, with an emphasis on innovation and experimentation: “Its premise revolves around an uncertainty regarding the notion of stable relationships between environments, around the slipperiness of language and a suspicion over fixity of use and intention – consequently, around subverting employment of it in absolute terms or as a centralising force” (11). The ever-interesting Catherine Walsh has a wonderful piece called ‘A Picture of a Portrait of Charlotte’ (taken from her 2009 Shearsman collection Optic Nerve) translated by Laura Solórzano, though it is Solórzano’s own short mostly paragraph-like prose poems in Walsh’s translation which for me are the highlight of the collection:

Puse alma de epitelio en tu sueño cúbico. Tus falanges me acogieron como si yo fuera un hueso más que hubiera perdido el rumbo o la ubicación. Puse el sueño en el suelo, junto a ti, y la clavícula ofreció su primaria inmaculada.
I gave epitheliated spirit to your unabstracted sleep. Your phalange caught me as if I were one more wishboned politic pain-in-the-neck who had lost their bearings or locus. I grounded the dream, right with you, with the collarbone showing its primitive chastity.
from ‘amalgamation’ (pp. 42-43) 

Other stand-out contributions in this excellent collection are Kit Fryatt’s ‘Poem Beginning with a Line by Pat Califia’, and Alan Jude Moore’s translation of the work of Xitlalitl Rodríguez Mendoza, complete with a very perceptive translator’s note, where he hopes that the poems in translation “on their journey [to English] have taken on, for a while at least, the patched up cloak of our language” (95).

John Kearns, from 'Recent Developments in Spanish / Irish Poetry Translation'
ITIA Bulletin, February 2015

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