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Jan Wagner ©Villa Massimo / Alberto Novelli .

Found in Translation: Contemporary Poets Discuss Translation

15 May 2015

International poets and translators Jamie McKendrick, Michael Hofmann and Jan Wagner discuss the influence of translation on their own writings and contemporary poetry more generally. Considering their positions as both readers and translators, the panel considers the issues concerning the translation of foreign poetry.

Presented in partnership with The German Academy for Language and Literature. Founded in 1949, among the Academy’s 180 Fellows—most of them from Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, but many from other countries all over the world—are a great number of the German language’s most important authors and critics, translators and philologists.

Jamie McKendrick, born in Liverpool in 1955, is a poet, translator, editor and critic and lives in Oxford where he teaches part-time. He is the author of six collections of poetry, has translated Pier Paolo Pasolini, Giorgio Bassani, Valerio Magrelli and Antonella Anedda into English, and edited The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems (2004). Among other awards, he has won the Forward Poetry Prize (1997), the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the John Florio Prize (2010). For his latest poetry collection Out There (2013), he was awarded the Hawthornden Prize
Michael Hofmann, born in Freiburg, West Germany in 1957, grew up in the UK and now lives in Florida as a poet, translator, critic and editor. His Selected Poems was published in 2008 and he translated Franz Kafka and Bertolt Brecht, Herta Müller and Durs Grünbein and many others. For his own poetry as well as for his translations he was awarded, for example, the Cholmondeley Award, twice the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation. He holds a part-time position at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung.
Jan Wagner, born in Hamburg in 1971, is a poet, translator of Anglo-American poetry and critic living in Berlin. As the author six poetry collections from Probebohrung im Himmel (2001) to Regentonnenvariationen (2014), he has received numerous awards for his poetry, recently the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse (2015). He has translated the poetry of Simon Armitage, Charles Simic, James Tate and Matthew Sweeney into German and edited two anthologies of German language poetry. His work is included in Twentieth-Century German Poetry: An Anthology (2006), edited by Michael Hofmann. In 2010 he was made a Fellow of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung.

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