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Archive for October, 2011

Somali Poets’ Tour

My main project this autumn has been translating the Somalian poet Caasha Luul Mohamud Yusuf for the Poetry Translation Centre. It’s been fascinating to learn about Somalian poetry, which is still very rooted to the oral trandition, and I’ve spent the last few days immersed in the Gabay form, which – almost like anglo-saxon poetry – is structured around half-lines and alliteration.  It’s quite intimidating – Somalia is known as the Land of the Bards, and they take their poetry very seriously.  Caasha’s work is incredibly fierce and moving, and she’s a wonderful performer. 

If you want to catch us, I’ll be reading my translations alongside her as part of the Somali Poets’ Tour 2011 at Off the Shelf in Sheffield this saturday (the 29th of October), and in Swansea on November the 8th.

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India Pics

Just got back from India – I was there for three weeks, with my mum and then my husband for company – and had an incredible time. It’s such an intense, fascinating, difficult, beautiful place.  I was reading Narayan’s translations of The Ramayana and The Mahabharata whilst I was there – both highly recommended – and thinking about samsara, incarnation, the meaning of life etc, etc, like any good poet…. (already written a poem since I got back: ‘Fever Dream in Varanasi’). In the meantime, these pictures show some of my highlights….

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