Write Across Borders - Partnerships
Back in January, I was having a drink with the poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard in Arcadia, Headingley. I asked him what he would ideally like to do in a Leeds/Dortmund writing collaboration. He said he’d always wanted to do some translating. How about a mutual translation project between Dortmund and Leeds writers?
So now it’s happening. Seven Leeds writers have been paired with seven Dortmund writers. Over the last few months, the writing partners (10 from each city) have created a series of pieces on the theme of Neighbourhood in response to each other. Or just one piece. It’s up to them. Attached to each conversation or pair is a volunteer translator who will assist them in whatever ways they want; perhaps with a literal translation which a writer can then fashion, or just with particular phrases or words.
Who are the translators? A mixture of students and academics from Leeds University who have very kindly offered their time and expertise. The students will be supported by Jacob Blakesley, a scholar of literary translation at the University.
What will happen to the writing? It will all be published on this website in September and as much of it as possible broadcast during the LD50 festival in October (see Write Across Borders in LD50 festival schedule). Jacob Blakesley will also appear on a panel of academics, writers and publishers at Chapel FM talking about the challenges and opportunities of translation.