In this workshop we will explore poetic translation as a kind of migration, moving with the body of a text from one language into another. To move with the body of the text, we must not only read closely into language but also listen deeply to the voice of a different culture and time.
In this workshop, we will read multiple different translations of original texts by Wisława Szymborska, Sappho, Cesar Vallejo, Federico García Lorca (among others) and consider different approaches to translation. We will also engage in the process of creating our own translations. By the end of the course, you will have completed a few of your own translations of short poems.
Knowledge of another language is not required for participation in the workshop. Students who do not know or have only partial knowledge of another language can consult various dictionaries, existing translations, native speakers, or work from a “trot” (a literal translation) to create their own translations.
Rebecca Seiferle’s last poetry collection Wild Tongue (Copper Canyon, 2007) won the 2008 Grub Street National Book Prize in Poetry. Her three previous collections, Bitters, The Music We Dance To and The Ripped-Out Seam won the Western States Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, The National Writer’s Union Prize, and the Poets & Writers Exchange Award. Seiferle is also a noted translator, having translated César Vallejo’s The Black Heralds (Copper Canyon, 2003) and Trilce (Sheep Meadow Press, 1992). She was Jacob Ziskind poet-in-residence at Brandeis University, and a visiting writer at Vanderbilt University, Hamilton College, the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, the Key West Literary Seminars, the Summer Literary Seminars in Lithuania, StAnza International Poetry Festival in St. Andrews, Scotland, among others. She was the recipient of the 2004 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. From 2012-2016 Seiferle was Tucson Poet Laureate and she was awarded an Arizona Commission on the Arts Research and Development Grant in 2019.