READ #9: A Journal of Inter-Translation inaugurates our collaboration with Tamaas, a cross-cultural arts organization that brings together poets of diverse origins, languages and generations through annual translation seminars. These seminars invite writers to work in pairs to translate each other’s work. The inter-translation structure encourages participants to draw on their capacities as writers to render poetry in another language and to approach translation as type of dialogue. The fruits of these encounters are annually recorded as READ.
Previously READ was published in print with 1913 Press, its home for 15 years. This year, however, marks the new co-publication project between Litmus Press and Tamaas, in which we begin to issue open-access, digital editions of upcoming READ volumes.
READ #9 features poetry in English, Korean, French, Arabic and Persian. All pairs worked across distance, as the onset of a global pandemic changed the conditions of movement and cross-cultural exchange: rather than come together in a poet-to-poet translation exchange in Paris, the poets of READ #9 gathered remotely, from satellite locations in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boulder, Paris, London and California.
Many of these poets worked in pairs, although some worked as a collective such as the Talismanic Group, translating Persian mystical texts under the guidance of Ghazal Mosadeq. Other pairs expanded their works into multi-media formats such as the recordings of Korean Children’s Songs by Stine An and Mike Walsh. Genji Amino and Serubiri Moses explored translation through epistolary dialogue. Other pairs included Isabelle Garron, who translated excerpts from E. Tracy Grinnell‘s Hell Figures (Nightboat Books, 2016) and Habib Tengour with Cole Swensen, who translated each other’s work. Rawad Wehbe translated one of Lebanon’s most popular poets, Khalil Hawi, while Mona Kareem continued translating Ra’ad Abdul Qadir: a project that has since grown into Except for This Unseen Thread (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021), the first collection of Ra’ad’s work in English translation.
We are thrilled to make READ #9 available as a free open access resource through our website. It is our hope that these digital editions can serve an extended community of writers, translators, educators, and readers in their thinking through experimental translation. If you are interested in teaching with/from READ, we would love to hear. Get in touch!
Access READ #9 here
Find previous issues of READ through 1913 Press Small Press Distribution.