Journeys in Translation: Poetry Reading and Discussion

Through poetry and translation, Journeys in Translation aims to encourage cross- and inter-cultural conversation on themes of home, belonging and refuge. The initiative encourages people who are bilingual or multilingual and speakers, learners and teachers of other languages to:

  • translate or encourage others to translate as many of a set of 14 poems as possible,
  • share the translations and reflections on the translations through blogs, in letters, and emails to family and friends and on social media, and/or
  • organise related events in their locality at which the 14 poems and translations will be read and discussed.

We warmly invited people to attend the Oxford Journeys in Translation event. At the event 14 poems from the anthology Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for Those Seeking Refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015) read in English and in translation. Poets as well as translators briefly discussed their work. Copies of the anthology were available for sale. Posters showing the poems alongside the translations were also on display.

Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for Those Seeking Refuge has been translated into more than 20 other languages, among them, Arabic, Bengali, British Sign Language, Chinese, Farsi, German, Hindi, Italian, Shona and Spanish. The anthology of 102 poems expresses solidarity with the refugees who are currently receiving so little welcome as they take to boats and rafts to cross the Mediterranean and make their way with difficulty through Europe. Readers are invited to take a view of the situation which is not governed by the fear and hatred whipped up by the language of media and many politicians. The anthology was edited by Kathleen Bell, Emma Lee and Siobhan Logan. The anthology is being sold to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Leicester City of Sanctuary and the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum.