DUAL Poetry Podcast

Dual Poetry Podcast is taking a look at Afghan poetry, with five poems from the PTC archive. We made this recording in September 2021, weeks after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Western forces. There is worldwide concern for poets, scholars and intellectuals still in the country, many of whom have publicly supported universal human rights and been openly critical of the Taliban

The world recognises the importance of classical poets who hailed from this part of the world, towering figures like Rumi, and now there are important contemporary poets there that needs further recognition, support and shelter. Towards the end of the podcast, we will be talking about what you can do to help.

All of these poems are in Dari, the regional variation of Persian that has developed in that part of the world. However, there are two official languages in Afghanistan, the second being Pashtu, spoken by ethnic Pashtuns in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sadly, we do not have any audio recordings of Pashtu poems to play to you but you can find translated Pashtu poetry of the PTC website.

As ever we would like to thank Arts Council England and our donors for their continued support. Thank you for listening, please tell your brilliant poetry loving friends and inspirational relatives about the Dual Poetry Podcast and repost, rate and review.

Direct download: Five_poems_from_Afghanistan.mp3
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Born in the remote Khojand province of Tajikistan in 1964, Farzaneh Khojandi is widely regarded as the most exciting woman poet writing in Persian today and has a huge following in Iran and Afghanistan as well as in Tajikistan, where she is simply regarded as the country's foremost living writer. Her frequently playful and witty poetry draws on the rich tradition of Persian literature in an often subversive and humorous way. 

Khojandi was translated by Narguess Farzad, Senior Lecturer, Persian Studies, at SOAS and Chair of Centre for Iranian Studies WITH the UK poet Jo Shapcott, who has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Collection, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the National Poetry Competition.

Persian poetry is rightly famed for the richness of its heritage and many classical Persian poets, such as Rumi and Hafez, are famous across the world. But little is known about how contemporary Persian-language poets have continued to enrich and enliven their tradition, a gap that the PTC sought to fill in its early days translating Persian poets working within the local variations of Dari spoken in Afghanistan, Farsi from Iran and Tajik from Tajikistan.

Direct download: Faraneh_Podcast_2021.mp3
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On today’s episode, we are travelling again to Mexico to spend some time with the work of Coral Bracho, winner of the Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize in 1981 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000.

The PTC first published Bracho’s work in 2008 when she was part of our Mexican Poets Tour along with Victor Teran and David Hurta. Her work was translated by Tom Boll with the poet Katherine Pierpoint.

Bracho’s early poems marry verbal luxuriance with a keen intelligence and awareness of the artistic process. Yet that artistic consciousness doesn't lose sight of world. Her poems have been seen as part of a neo-baroque trend in Latin American literature and in 1996 her work was included in the definitive anthology of contemporary neo-baroque writing from Latin America.

Neo-baroque writing can be seen as the foundational literary movement of Latin America, with writers taking on the ornate literary and artistic styles of a 'transplanted' European Baroque as a way of disrupting more classical orderly forms of writing.

Today’s poems are Of Their Eyes Adorned with Crystal Sands, which sounds neo-baroque and Touches Its Depths and Is Stirred Up, a title that doubles as a good working definition of poetry itself.

Direct download: 2_Poems_by_Coral_Bracho.mp3
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This week we are looking at the work of Abdellatif Laâbi, who is widely acknowledged to be Morocco's greatest living poet. This week the PTC publishes My Mother’s Language featuring a selection of Laâbi’s poems originally written in French with translations into English by the noted Poet and translator André Naffis-Sahely, who has just become the editor of Poetry London Magazine.

In his introduction to My Mother’s Language Naffis-Sahely details Abdellatif Laâbi’s biography, living through the end of French rule in Moroccan, then the oppressive 'Years Of Lead' that saw many  dissidents and intellectuals imprisoned or disappeared. Laâbi himself was imprisoned for 8 years between 1972 and 1980, during his captivity he was tortured and deprived of medical care. Five years after his release Laabi moved to France, where he continues to live.

This week’s poems are 'My Mother’s Language', which lends its title to the new collection and 'The Earth Opens and Welcomes You' the last poem in the collection. 

To get your copy of My Mother’s Language, with an afterword by Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, directly from the PTC online store, for just £7 + P&P, head to poetrytranslation.org/shop.

Direct download: Laabi_June_2021_Podcast.mp3
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Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. She now lives in the Netherlands and writes in both Dari and Dutch. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely addressed by women poets writing in Dari.

After working on the transitions with the cultural anthropologist Zuzanna Olszewska, the poet Mimi Khalvati said of Azizzada:

She is a very musical poet,  tender and intimate, but also uncompromising in her political poems, and sometimes surreal – a poet of range and courage.  Many of the poems, or parts of them, were relatively straightforward to translate and, perhaps because of the European influence, seemed to slip happily into English. 

Shakila’s voice is not as adorned as some poetry in Farsi that I have read, and is idiomatic and sometimes humorous or satiric. 

Don’t forget to like, review, recommend and subscribe to support the Dual Poetry Podcast. You can find more translated poems, articles about translation and culture, as well as our upcoming program over on our internet home poetrytransation.org.

Direct download: Shakila_Haft_Seen_and_Epitath.mp3
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With his work translated and anthologized around the world, Víctor Terán is the preeminent living poet of the Isthmus Zapotec. He was born in 1958. His work has been published extensively in magazines and anthologies throughout Mexico. Since 2000, he has also appeared in anthologies in Italy and the United States and he is a three-time recipient of the national fellowship for writers of indigenous languages,

The PTC translated Victor Teran first in 2010 when he was part of our Mexican Poets tour, alongside Spanish language poets Coral Bracho, David Huerta. Victor Teran was translated by David Shook, who has gone on to translate over a dozen books from Spanish and Isthmus Zapotec and has produced short literary documentaries and video poems in locations including Bangladesh, Burundi, Cuba, and Equatorial Guinea.

Direct download: Teran_2021_Podcast.mp3
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This week we are bringing you two poems in from a series by the Georgian poet Salome Benidze, The Story of Flying and The Story of the poor. Salome was one of two Georgian poets who toured the UK with the PTC in 2018 alongside Diana Amphidiadi. Benidze’s poems were translated by Natalia Bukia-Peters with the UK poet Helen Mort and we published a chapbook of her poems called I wanted to ask you

Direct download: Salome_Story_Of_Poems.mp3
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In this episode of the podcast, we are looking at Hindi poetry. Late last year the PTC published two chapbooks in our World Poet Series featuring Hindi poets: The Cartographer by Mohan Rana and This Water by Gagan Gill.

The poems you hear on today’s podcast are by Mohan Rana who lives in Bath, England and writes deceptively simple poems circling metaphysical themes.

Today’s two poems are In Your Own Words and After Midnight by Mohan Rana translated by Lucy Rosenstein with the poet Bernard O'Donoghue.

You can buy our Hindi Poetry Set here: poetrytranslation.org/shop/hindi-poetry-set

You can donate to the PTC here: https://www.poetrytranslation.org/support-us

 

Direct download: Feb_2021_Hindi_Podcast.mp3
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In this podcast, we bring you poems that take the form of messages from afar, the poets are addressing loved ones but communicating to the reader as well, the implied distance between the writer and the addressee standing in for personal and emotional distance. 

Kajal Ahmad was born in Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1967, Kajal Ahmad began publishing her remarkable poetry at the age of 21 and has gained a considerable reputation for her brave, poignant and challenging work throughout the Kurdish-speaking world. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Norwegian and now, for the first time, into English.

Noshi Gillani was born in Pakistan in 1964. The candour and frankness of her highly-charged poems is unusual for a woman writing in Urdu and she has gained a committed international audience, performing regularly at large poetry gatherings in Pakistan, Australia, Canada and the US. Unknown outside the Pakistani community, the translations here mark her introduction to an English-speaking audience.

Please take a moment to rate and review this podcast on iTunes or wherever you download.

Direct download: Messages_from_Afar_PODCAST.mp3
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We start 2021 with two poets whose poems have narrative strands, one is a fairy tale complete with daemons and the other is a sketch of the life of an economic migrant who fears the host of his wife.

Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. During her middle school and university years in Kabul, she started writing stories and poems, many of which were published in magazines. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely adressed by women poets writing in Dari.

Mohammad Bagher Kolahi Ahari was born in 1950 in Mashhad, Khorasan. His first collection Above the Four Elements was published in 1977. He published six more collections of poetry. Kolahi has developed his distinct voice inspired by lyrical and elegiac traditions of Persian poetry combined with his story-telling talent. Many of  Kolahi’s poems contain a narrative containing elements of folk tales and description of rural Khorasan. In his poems, he very often depicts the life and the stories of marginalized groups of the society like gypsies, petty criminals and labourers.

Direct download: two_Afghan_Poets_Jan_2021.mp3
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