by Ambrose Musiyiwa
Derby poet, Trevor Wright will be taking part in Journeys in Translation, an event that takes place at the African Caribbean Centre in Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0UA, on 30 September from 7pm onwards, to mark International Translation Day 2017.
The event is being held as part of Everybody’s Reading, Leicester’s annual nine-day festival of reading.
For Journeys in Translation, 13 poems were selected from Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge, a poetry anthology published in 2015 by Nottingham’s Five Leaves Publications. The poems were then translated into over 20 other languages.
The poems and at least one translation of each will be performed at the Journeys in Translation event in Leicester on September 30.
Posters of the poems and translations will also be on display at the event.
As part of event, Trevor Wright will be reading his poem, “Yalla”, accompanied by British Sign Language interpreter and translator, Elvire Roberts.
Trevor Wright says,
I centred “Yalla” on one person who was in transit and had lost all but one of their family.
The poem came to me when I was on holiday watching kids playing in small plastic boats from the beach and walked back into the holiday let to see, on TV, people in large and precarious plastic boats on the Mediterranean. Stories about people losing whole families began to filter through.
With “Yalla”, I also wanted to mark the resilience and hope that carried people on, a hope and resilience that, I have to say, we don’t honour enough.
Trevor Wright works part-time in social care and is co-director of InSight, a community interest company that provides autism awareness training. His first poetry collection, Outsider Heart, was published by Nottingham’s Big White Shed in November 2016.
|Trevor Wright and Elvire Roberts at the Quiet Riot disability Poetry event that was held on 21 April 2017 as part of the Nottingham Poetry Festival which was also the first outing of the British Sign Language translation of “Yalla”.|
Project coordinator, Ambrose Musiyiwa says,
Journeys in Translation aims to facilitate cross- and inter-cultural conversation around themes of home, belonging and refuge.
It encourages speakers, learners and teachers of other languages to translate or encourage others to translate as many of the 13 poems as possible and to share the translations and reflections on the translations through blogs, in letters and emails to family and friends, on social media, and elsewhere.
The initiative also encourages people, as individuals or communities, to organise related events in their localities. The events could be translation workshops or sessions at which the 13 poems and translations are read and discussed.
Over Land, Over Sea was edited by Kathleen Bell, Emma Lee and Siobhan Logan and is being sold to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Leicester City of Sanctuary and the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum.
So far, the anthology has raised about £3,000 for the three charities.
|Trevor Wright’s poem, “Yalla”, Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015) p. 94. Translated into Farsi by Mina Minnai.|
Five Leaves Publications director, Ross Bradshaw says,
In 2015, towards the end of summer, a group of East Midlands writers started discussing the refugee crisis. The outcome was Over Land, Over Sea, which brings together poems and short fiction from 80 writers from around the world all of whom, through the anthology, respond to people who are seeking refuge, the journeys they are making and how they are being received in Europe and in countries like Britain.
Some of the contributors to the anthology are well-known or are at the start of their career. Some are refugees or from other migrant families, others have campaigned or raised funds for refugees in the past.
Journeys in Translation builds on Over Land, Over Sea and, like the anthology on which it is based, encourages people to look closely at language and images and the effect these have on how we treat people who are looking for refuge.
It is good to see there are people in villages, towns and cities in Britain and around the world simultaneously working on the translations.
Journeys in Translation aims to facilitate cross- and inter-cultural conversations around the themes of home, belonging and refuge.
The project encourages people who are bilingual or multilingual to have a go at translating 13 of the 101 poems from Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015) from English into other languages and to share the translations, and reflections on the exercise on blogs, in letters and emails to family and friends, and on social media.
So far, the 13 poems that are being used as part of the project have been translated into languages that include Italian, German, Shona, Spanish, Bengali, British Sign Language, Farsi, Finnish, French, Turkish and Welsh.
Copies of the anthology are available from Five Leaves Bookshop (Nottingham).
More information on how Over Land, Over Sea came about is available here.