Bloodaxe poets have been taking part in an innovative translation project in Bucharest, “Lidia Vianu’s Students Translate”. Four poets, Imtiaz Dharker, Bill Herbert, George Szirtes and Mark Waldron, together with Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley and translator Pamela Robertson-Pearce, took part in a week of readings, discussions and translation workshops at the University of Bucharest.
The project was led by Professor Lidia Vianu, who has translated the work of many leading poets into Romanian, including books by Marin Sorescu and Mircea Dinescu for Bloodaxe, and who published an anthology of the work of the four visiting Bloodaxe poets to tie in with the visit, Four British Poets / Patru Poeți britanici (Editura
Lidia Vianu’s graduate students – many of them hoping to become future professional translators – had already drafted translations of several Romanian poets selected for the project, and the Bloodaxe team worked with groups of students each day on batches of poems, helping them to bring their translations into more fluent English, so that they read much more effectively as poems in English, and showing the need for Romanians to work with English speakers on poetry translations.
In addition, 40 of the students have been working with 40 other Bloodaxe poets on translations of their poetry into Romanian. Each student has been translating a selection of poems by their chosen poet as well as interviewing the poet by email or Skype and writing an essay on their work. This then forms their dissertation for their master’s degree.
Translations from the project will be published by Contemporary Literature Press, the online publishing house of the University of Bucharest.
We wish to thank Lidia Vianu and her hard-working students for this brilliant week and for their continuing involvement in the project. The launch was hosted by the Romanian Cultural Institute, and covered then and during the week by Romanian television and radio networks.
In addition, the celebrated poet and TV chef Mircea Dinescu took part at the meeting.
Many thanks to organisers: Lidia Vianu, University of Bucharest, Romanian Cultural Institute, National Museum of Romanian Literature. The partners were: Ministry of Culture and National Identity, British Council, Romanian Literature Museum Publishing House, Contemporary Literature Press Publishing House, MTTLC, Headsome Communication, Romanian Writers’ Union, Bloodaxe Books.
Media partners were: Radio Romania Cultural (Oana Enăchescu, Confluence), TVR, Literary Romania, LiterNet, Book Agency.
More details about the project, here.