Steve Whitaker has written a lovely long and considered Yorkshire Times review for Home on the Move, our new poetry in translation anthology recently launched at Ledbury Poetry Festival:
"What is fascinating about the premise of this short, interwoven, collection of poems and images is that it does not demand an actual journey; this homage to place is linear only in the sense of a formal progression from one poetic impression to the next. Home on the Move commences with poems about two notional odysseys across Europe – one in the East, one West – conceived, respectively, by Rafal Gawin and Deryn Rees-Jones. Any further ingress is predicated entirely on succeeding translations, each reliant on the preceding poem’s re-calibrated take on the earlier. The notoriously knotty problem of translation is refreshingly subverted by a willingness to see how words act upon each other when the straitjacket of expectation is removed: literal transliterations of words may rupture original meaning, but invest the language of ‘place’ with the vigour of renewed possibility.
"Brexit inertia does little to remove the sting of this slim volume’s relevance; its eclectic theatre of words underlines something Europeans share – there is no border between Heimats of the lyrical imagination just as there is no limitation to invention in the free mind. It is no vice to declare a pan-cultural amnesty in these refracted poems, whose strange linguistic crossings are a de facto antidote to populist insularity. That poetic trajectory, here, requires little more than freedom of movement for the imagination underwrites the mind’s hegemony: free to cross figurative frontiers, the words it calls forth are well travelled, precisely as they also signify a feeling for home, if only because the mental path home – to the fabric and context of our lives - is always open.
"Bearing the character of an echo in an empty room, ‘HOME’ is a masterpiece of distilled inter-spatial, intra-temporal meditation, whose ghostly touch calls forth ‘lost places’ of the imagination, whilst a chimeric narrator flits effortlessly between forgotten spaces and others waiting to be remembered, in the languid pursuit of ‘elsewheres’. Insubstantial, the journey’s totems evanesce, as fleeting as meanings uncircumscribed by borders:
‘To know the world in another language
is to never know the world the same’."
Join us in Liverpool on 23 October, 3-5pm, for our next event:
Home on the Move: poetry, translation, art — workshop and book launch
Led by Manuela Perteghella and Ricarda Vidal
We live in a society built on migration where many languages are spoken and where many people feel they belong to more than one place, one culture, or one linguistic community. With the opportunities and pressures of globalisation and in times of unprecedented economic and forced migration, notions of ‘home’ are becoming more fluid. Home is no longer necessarily understood as a fixed abode, but can be mobile as well as located in multiple spaces, physical as well as virtual ones. But what happens to home when it travels, when it is transported between cultures, places or languages? What is transformed?
And how can poetry, art and translation give us access to this mobile notion of home, which is a reality for so many of us?
These are some of the questions we will explore at this workshop: first in discussion with poet Deryn Rees-Jones and then through creative and collaborative translation.
The workshop is based on Talking Transformations: Home on the Move which comprises creative writing and translation workshops, a travelling exhibition and the poetry anthology Home on the Move: two poems go on a journey (Parthian, 2019). Chris McCabe called Home on the Move “one of the most inventive and necessary poetry projects of recent years, a reminder of Ted Hughes’s assertion that poetry ‘is a universal language in which we can all hope to meet’.”
For the project, two poems, “Home” by Deryn Rees-Jones and “Dom. Konstrukcja w procesie sądowym” by Rafał Gawin were sent on a journey through five European countries, whereby they were translated by a literary translator and a film artist in every country they visited. The resulting translations and art films were then translated into new versions and forms by professional and amateur translators and poets.
Participants of today’s workshop will be asked to create their own version of Rees-Jones’s “Home” based on a selection of different versions of the poem in film and writing.
No foreign language skills are needed.