I love what happens when people share food together – a few months ago, what started as a conversation over dinner with three other Shanghai based poets, bloomed into a trememndously exciting collaborative project.
Andrea Fassolas, Laura McCrae, Tom Mangione and I shared a frustration that the expat and Chinese poetry scenes were so far apart, so decided to make a tiny step towards bringing them together. This became United Verses (译站 in Mandarin which means ‘Translation Place’ and is pronounced the same as ‘Together’) a project where 6 Chinese language poets and 6 English language poets pair up with translators to mutually interpret each others’ work. What this means is that at 7pm on the 23rd of July at Anar (129 Xingfu Lu, near Fahauzhen Lu) everyone who attends will be able to enjoy every word spoken in both languages.
Some people get very stressed about the difficulties of “translating” poetry, worried that what you get won’t be a perfect expression of the original. As for me, sharing words accross cultural boundries is so much more powerful than any pedantic quest for perfection.
Chinese feature poets: 白羽/Bai Yu, 王晟/Jonathan Wang, 周海明/Zhou Haiming, 叶青/Ye Qing, 杜刚 / Du Gang, 赵霞 / Zhao Xia
And English poets: Richard Watkins, W.M. Butler, Tom Mangione, Andrea Fassolas, Laura McCrae, Susie Gordon
Flyer photo credit: dobrych on flickr