I'm in Translation!

In 2012, Aussie poet, academic and publisher Kit Kelen invited a number of Australian and New Zealand poets to send him one poem, with notes which could give any translator an understanding, not only of the text but such things as the feelings, nuances, and cultural background – those things which are often ‘lost in translation.’ 142 poems with notes were published in a volume called Notes for the Translators. I was thrilled to be included.

Now a selection of these has appeared in a new book: Close Encounters of the Poetic Kind, where 23 of the original 142, with their notes, are presented in the English, as well as in Bosnian and Turkish. It was launched, on May 8 this year, at the University of Sarajevo. 

Again, I’m honoured to have been selected – from among so many brilliant, distinguished Aussie and NZ poets whose work I know and admire. 

I don’t have details of how the editors (who are also the translators) made their selections, but perhaps it can be inferred from what they say in their Foreword:

‘We hope … that you will find out something new about Australia and New Zealand. Or, at least, that you will confirm the fact that we humans are more or less the same, with similar life problems and joys, regardless of where and when we are living. That’s why we want this poetry to enter your home.’

(My piece was about a quilt I crocheted, and simultaneously about the breakdown of a marriage.)