Special Event on Queer Poetry: Poetry Workshop

Sophie Seita

Sophie Seita, Cloudiness (2021), video still. Commissioned by Anouk Luhn and Lena Hintze, for The Game(s) of Translation, in collaboration with LCB (Literarisches Colloquium Berlin), TOLEDO, and Freie Universität Berlin.

In this practice-based workshop, we experimented with various translational and translingual techniques of writing and making—asking about the political and ethical potential or pitfalls of these practices along the way. Specifically, translation does not just describe the movement from one language to another, but also the messy movement between languages, from one medium or material to another, and the many forms of rewriting and dialogue with other texts and voices through adaptation, appropriation, erasure, citation, and constraint-based or permutational procedures. We also considered queer and feminist approaches to translation, questions around tactility and texture, gesture, and the physicality of writing.

This workshop was planned in collaboration with a live online reading with Azad Ashim Sharma, Édith Azam, Laura Doyle Péan, Lola Olufemi, and Calliope Michail, centring around Stuart Bell’s translations of Azam’s Bird me (Oiseau-Moi) and Doyle Péan’s Yo-yo Heart (Coeur Yo-yo), both published by the87press. For more information, including ways to purchase copies, click here.


Stuart Bell is a literary translator. His previous translations include the French novels They Stole Our Beauty (2019) and The Softest Sleep (2020), and the poetry collection Bird, Me (2021). He is a senior editor for the South London Cultural Review which launched its inaugural issue Moving Impressions in 2021 via the87press.

Sophie Seita is an artist and academic working with text, sound, and translation on the page and in other media. Her creative practice is based in an expansive understanding of translation: not just from one language into another, but also from various materials, media, and discourses into other forms and formats, and her work often visualises, embodies, and translates text via performance, lecture performance, poetic dialogue, costume, objects, choreography, video, and installation. Most recently, she’s the author of Provisional Avant-Gardes (Stanford University Press, 2019) and My Little Enlightenment Plays (Pamenar 2020), and the translator of Uljana Wolf’s Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna*, 2017) and the forthcoming Etymological Gossip: Essays and Lectures (Nightboat Books). She has performed and exhibited work at Flat Time House and UP Projects, the Royal Academy, Bold Tendencies, the Arnolfini, Parasol Unit, Raven Row, the Serpentine, [SPACE], Art Night, Taller Bloc (Santiago, Chile), SAAS-Fee Summer Institute of Art (Berlin), JNU (New Delhi), Company Gallery, Issue Project, Goethe Institute, and La MaMa Galleria (all NYC), Heong Gallery (Cambridge), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor at Boston University, co-organises the Sound/Text seminar at Harvard, and is a tutor on both the Alternative Education Programme at Rupert in Vilnius, Lithuania, and the MSt in Writing for Performance at Cambridge University.