Translating modernist poetry for the twenty-first century

  • DATE

    29 March 2022

  • TIME

    6:30 pm to 7:45 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome

  • PRICE

    £3

Carcanet Press brings discussion around translation and poetry to the Portico Library, focusing on modernist poets, politics and aesthetics.

About this event
North American poets Geoffrey Brock and Evan Jones (translators of Ungaretti, and Cavafy, respectively), will talk about their work as translators, and why we remain so interested in the work of early twentieth-century poets. They will be joined by Prof Francesca Billiani, whose critical work deals with Modernism, translation, and the cross-over of politics and aesthetics.

This event will be chaired by poet, publisher and translator, Prof Michael Schmidt.

Francesca Billiani is Professor of Italian at the University of Manchester where she teaches contemporary Italian literature and culture. Her research focuses on the Fascist period, censorship, literary journals, modernism, history of publishing, and intellectual history. She is the author of, among other things, a monograph on the politics of translation in Italy (Culture nazionali e narrazioni straniere, Italia 1903-1943) and, most recently, a monograph Fascist Modernism in Italy. Arts and Regimes (I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021).

Geoffrey Brock (@gbrock) is the author of three volumes of poetry, the editor of The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, and the translator of numerous books of various genres, most recently Giovanni Pascoli’s Last Dream, which received the Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 2020, and Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria, which received the National Translation Award for Poetry from the American Literary Translators Association in 2021. Currently a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, he teaches at the University of Arkansas.

Canadian poet Evan Jones (@EvanPJones) has lived in Manchester since 2005. His most recent collection of poetry is Later Emperors (Carcanet 2020). His translation of C.P. Cavafy, The Barbarians Arrive Today (Carcanet 2020), was a TLS Book of the Year.

At Carcanet Press, Michael Schmidt (@MichaelSchmidt7) has been responsible for publishing a substantial list of contemporary, modern and classic poets in translation from over thirty languages. His own first book (with Ed Kissam) was an anthology of Aztec poetry, translated via the Spanish (1969). He has translated the essays and poetry of Octavio Paz. PN Review, of which Schmidt has been an editor for almost fifty years, includes translations and essays on the challenges and the art of translation in most issues.