The Northern Poetry Symposium will be a day of lively debates, workshops and readings exploring poetry in translation with leading poets, publishers and translators. In the current age of political turbulence – the vote for Brexit, the presidency of Donald Trump, the refugee crisis and the rise of censorship – poetry in translation is more relevant than ever. We’ll be crossing the globe with exiled voices, exploring innovative new translation processes and putting poetry in translation firmly back on the map. Co-hosted by NCLA, PoetTrio and the Poetry Book Society.
10.30 – 11.00 Registration
11.00 – 12.00 Panel 1: Poetry Translation as Collaboration
A unique insight into the collaborative process of translating poetry from leading translators and researchers of Dutch, Austrian, Swedish and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian poetry. Led by the PoetTrio Experiment Co-Investigator W.N. Herbert, joined by panellists Karen Leeder, Carolyn Forché, Lars Gustaf Andersson and Francis Jones.
12.15 – 13.00 Reading 1: PoetTrio Showcase
A reading by the PoetTrio poets Elma van Haren and Hélène Gelèns, alongside W.N. Herbert, Fiona Sampson and Sean O’Brien, with a tribute to Menno Wigman.
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 15.00 Panel 2: Crossing the Divide: Poetry and Voices of Exile
Karen McCarthy Woolf chairs a dynamic discussion on the role of poetry in the age of migration featuring the exiled Ugandan poet Nick Makoha, the Ukrainian-born poet Ilya Kaminsky, and Carolyn Forché, editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-century Poetry of Witness (1993). How important is poetry in translation in voicing migrant experience and highlighting the recent refugee crises? How can we combat threats to freedom of speech today and what more can be done to make migrant voices heard?
15.00 – 15.15 Tea break
15.15 – 16.15 Panel 3: International Dialogues: Putting Poetry in Translation on the Map
Former Modern Poetry in Translation editor Sasha Dugdale explores innovative ways to raise the profile of poetry in translation with the founder and editor of Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley, prizewinning poet and translator, Fiona Sampson, PBS Director, Sophie O’Neill, and the first-ever British Library Translator in Residence, Jen Calleja. How can we publish more poetry in translation and give it a more prominent place at book festivals, in the media and on the national curriculum?
16.30 – 17.00 PoetTrio Commission Presentation with Martin Heslop
Composer Martin Heslop presents a new immersive sound work in response to collaborative poetry translation from the PoetTrio Experiment workshops. Imagined as an intercepted cross-border broadcast, Alternating Currents explores the intersection of language, code and music.
17:15 – 18.30 Reading 2: Symposium Showcase and drinks reception
Chaired by the T S Eliot Prize-winning poet Sinéad Morrissey, the symposium concludes with a drinks reception and readings from Nick Makoha, Carolyn Forché and Lars Gustaf Andersson, and PBS Summer Translation Choice Evelyn Schlag and Karen Leeder.