Translating Contemporary French Poetry

On 27 January 2016 Emma Wagstaff and Nina Parish (University of Bath) spoke at the Oxford Centre for Comparative Criticism and Translation on ‘Translating Contemporary French Poetry’.

They described the ways in which translation has formed a part of the activities of their research network on contemporary French poetic practice in relation to other disciplines, including collaborative translation in a workshop led by poets and translators Stephen Romer and Jennie Feldman. Then they discussed their experiences of translating poems to be included in a bilingual anthology of contemporary French poetry that they are guest editing for Enitharmon press (to be published later this year). Challenges include translating French text speak and puns, and dealing with cultural and literary references specific to France. Stephen Romer was present to respond to the paper, and it was followed by a lively discussion.