Tuesday, 11 March 2014

notes for the translators

Belatedly I mention this wonderful project edited by Chris ‘Kit’ Kelen and Jo You Chengcheng published in Macau in December 2012 by ASM. Chris Kelen has lived and taught in Macau for several years now and is constantly involved with translation alongside his own work as a poet and visual artist (the cover is his work). The book is an anthology of Australian and New Zealand poets directed at English-speaking Chinese translators. Each poem has notes (of widely varying length) made by the poets in the hope of facilitating translation. The notes tackle unfamiliar idioms and usages that could prove obscure but they also go some way towards giving a sense of where the poets felt the work was heading. It’s an interesting and timely exercise. Kelen had previously edited an anthology of translations (Fires Rumoured About the City). I have work in both of these volumes. Having no Chinese I can’t judge translations of my own or others poems in Fires but I’ve felt encouraged by the English translations of Chinese work done in other publications by many of the young poets at work here.

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