Wednesday, January 31, 2007

call for translations

Ren Powell in Norway asked me to post this on the blog:

The International Cities of Refuge Network has launched its new quarterly webzine at Icorn.
ICORN's work focuses on the importance of freedom of expression and our website has two functions
1) to encourage the establishment of new cities of refuge
2) to promote free speech through education and literary dialogue across cultures

Our first webzine issue features the work of award-winning novelist Chenjerai Hove, and the renowned philosopher Etienné Balibar.

We are inviting writers to submit essays on the subjects of
1) nationalism, identity, "the exile experience", patriotism and/or citizenship
2) cross-cultural literatures, translation, critical analysis of fiction and poetry with an eye on history or current events

We are also accepting submissions for our Babel Voices section: poetry, short stories or short creative non-fiction related to the focus of our zine. We are especially interested in work we can publish in two languages.

Please note that we have an international focus.

We are a not-for-profit organization and regret that we do not have funds to pay our contributors at this time. We hope that you will consider the electronic rights to your work as a donation for an important cause.

Please see our masthead for our submission guidelines.
If you would like more information about ICORN, our history, our Advisory Board etc. Please don't hesitate to contact Ren Powell, Co-editor:
Ren PowellICORN Editor and Information CoordinatorSølvberget KF, PB 310, 4002 Stavanger, Norwaytel. (47) 51 50 79 17 / mob. (47) 45 27 57 /

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Noitalsnart is here!

Announcing the publication of:

Noitalsnart, a handsome and handmade production featuring translations of Jorges Luis Borges, Anna Akhmatova, George Seferis, Paul Celan, and Con Ed street markings, along with poems, notes, poet-to-poet translations, reading responses, "english as a second third fourth or...more language" works, ammonia, and phonetic diagrams by Phyllis Wat, Nina Karacosta, Lydia Cortes, Andres Clerici, Tony Hoffman, Stephanie Gray, Susana Maio, and Marcella Durand. (Special appearance by John Wayne.)

To get your copy, come to the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church (2nd Ave. and 10th St.) on February 2nd at 9:30 pm, where participants in the Translate This! workshop will read.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

30 copies

Hi everyone,

Don't forget to bring 30 copies of your poem or poems tomorrow night for Noitalsnart. And if anyone has a heavy-duty stapler, please bring it in too, as apparently the poproj office is lacking in one.

Andres asked for some names of journals that publish translations and bilingual poetries, so I thought I'd post my response here. While this is certainly not an encyclopedic list (and let's see if I can get blogger $#@! links to work), it may be a helpful starting point.

Circumference is a newish journal devoted to work in translation that I like. They print both the original language and the translation. Two Lines is another journal I've seen around. If you're interesting in publishing a book, Archipelago is a new book publisher devoted to works in translation. XCP used to publish works from languages other than English, but I'm not sure if they're still around. Mandorla is devoted to Spanish-language poetries, but I'm not sure if it's restricted to the Americas or not.

OK, Lydia sent another Borges translation, which I'm posting in both languages, intertwined, as she sent it to me:

El puñal

The Dagger

En un cajón hay un puñal.

In a drawer there is a dagger.

Fue forjado en Toledo, a fines del siglo pasado; Luis Melián Lafinur se lo dio a mi

It was forged in Toledo, toward the end of the last century; Luis Melián Lafinur told

padre, que lo trajo del Uruguay; Evaristo Carriego lo tuvo alguna vez en la mano.

my father, who brought if from Uruguay; Evaristo Carriego once held it in his hand.

Quienes lo ven tienen que jugar un rato con él; se advierte que hace mucho que lo

Those who see it must play for a while with it; be warned that for a long time it was

buscaban; la mano se apresura a apretar la empuñadura que la espera;

sought; the hand hurries to grasp the handle that awaits it;

la hoja obediente y poderosa juega con precisión en la vaina.

the obedient and powerful leaf plays in its pod with precision.

Otra cosa quiere el puñal.

The dagger wants something else.

Es más que una estructura hecha de metales; los hombres lo pensaron y lo formaron

It is more than a structure made of metals; men thought it up and fashioned it

para un fin muy preciso; es, de algún modo eterno, el puñal que anoche mató un

for a very precise end; it is, in a certain way eternal, the dagger that last night killed

hombre en Tacuarembó y los puñales que mataron a César. Quiere matar, quiere

a man in Tacuarembo and the daggers that killed Caesar. It wants to kill, wants

derramar brusca sangre.

to spill sudden blood.

En un cajón del escritorio, entre borradores y cartas, interminablemente sueña el

In a desk drawer, amongst erasers and letters, the dagger interminably dreams

puñal con su sencillo sueño de tigre, y la mano se anima cuando lo rige porque el

its simple tiger dream, and the hand cheers up when it grips it because the

metal se anima, el metal que presiente en cada contacto al homicida para quien lo

metal cheers up, the metal that presides in each contact with the murderer for whom

crearon los hombres.

men created it.

A veces me da lástima. Tanta dureza, tanta fe, tan apacible o inocente soberbia, y

Sometimes I feel pity. Such harshness, so much faith, such gentle or innocent arrogance, and

los años pasan, inútiles.

the years pass, useless.

--Lydia Cortes

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fastest Borges Ever

So this translation of Jorge Luis Borges's "Shinto" clocked in at six minutes, from 8:56 pm to 9:03 pm on January 4, 2007.


When unhappiness hits us,
in a second we are saved
by the infamous adventures
of attention or memory:
the flavor of fruit,
the flavor of water,
that face that the dream returns to us,
the first jasmine of November,
the infinite yearning of the compass,
a book we believed lost,
the pulse of the hexameter,
the tiny key that opens a house,
the odor of a library or sandlewood,
the ancient name of a street,
the color of a map,
unexpected etymology,
the tip of a fingernail on a filing board,
the date we were looking for,
count the twelve dark bells,
abrupt physical pain.

Eight million are the divinities of Shinto
that travel to earth, secretly.
These modest entities touch us
and then leave us.

--Translated by Andres Clerici, Phyllis Wat, Nina Karacosta, Tony Hoffman, Stephanie Gray, and Marcella Durand.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Remember the Heads that Filled You

Remember the Heads that Filled You
(Akhmatova Joins Seferis)

I wake up with a marble head that loves three things
but I'm tired and don't know where to put this head
so I sing a song and drown out the peacocks
stick my elbows on his maps of America
fall into dream, like him. Fall out of dream, like me.
Marble head falls into the dream. Love/hate relations.
Tears well from the babies' eyes. Eyes open? Or closed?
His mouth loads up on rasberry jam. Speech gels.
Air equals hysteria. Cheeks jump out of skin.
My hands separate from their wrists, flap, flap.
This takes care of my good-byes. Leaves him.

--Phyllis Wat

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