Poem Podcast from the Poetry Translation Centre

Poetry is an important part of Georgian literature, and dates back to the 4th century AD. The first known woman poets are Queen Borena and Queen Tamar, who reigned in medieval times.  Contemporary Georgian women’s poetry has its origins in the Soviet period, when a new form of free verse appeared.

Salome Benidze is a poet, writer, blogger and translator. She has been nominated for and has received many prestigious awards, and her poems have been translated into more than 10 languages. She writes both in a traditional poetry mode and in free verse.

Salome’s poems are a journey through the dramatic historical and social changes in Georgia’s recent history and her own experience of life and love. They are conveyed in a rich and romantic language, highly charged with passion and love. In some ways, her work is a call for women’s voices to be taken more seriously.

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support the work of the Poetry Translation Centre then please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: Salome_Benidze_I_Wanted_to_Ask.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am UTC

A chilly poem: ‘Snow’ by the wonderful Iranian poet, Azita Ghahreman, who now lives in exile in snowy Sweden.

The seemingly endless snow is a metaphor for the hopelessness the poet feels – she and her lover are lost in its vastness. Only ‘a single stray earring’ can be seen – ‘not a tree, not a rabbit, not a star’.

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support the work of the Poetry Translation Centre then please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Azita_Snow_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39am UTC

'Neighbour!
You're like a fruit knife.
There's never a time
when you're not
at our dinner table.'

This poem is read first in English translation by Mimi Khalvati and then in Kurdish by the poet Choman Hardi.

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support the work of the Poetry Translation Centre then please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: PP_Kajal_The_Fruit_Sellers_Philosophy_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am UTC

The prize-winning Moroccan poet, Abdellatif Laâbi, is widely acknowledged as being one of the most important poets writing today. Laâbi was born in Fez in 1942. He began writing in the mid-1960s, publishing his first novel in 1969. In 1966 he founded the renowned literary magazine Souffles, a journal of literature and politics that was to earn its editor an eight-year prison sentence (from 1972 to 1981) under the authoritarian reign of Hassan II. Once released from jail, Laâbi left Morocco in 1985 and has lived in Paris ever since.

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support the work of the Poetry Translation Centre then please visit poetrytranslation.org/support-us

Direct download: The_Earth_Opens_and_Welcomes_You__intro_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm UTC