30 October 2006

Contemporary German Poetry in Australian Translation

Mouth to Mouth: Contemporary German Poetry in Translation, ed. Thomas Wohlfahrt and Tobias Lehmkuhl (Giramondo Publishing)
Whilst I do not condone the reading of poetry translations as a means to the original, this collection is one of the more original ones aimed at those English-speakers incapable of learning German. It had its origins in the Translation Workshop held at the Berlin Poesiefestival in June 2003, when ten German-speaking poets and ten Australian poets translated each other's poems. The selection has been expanded to include the work of fifteen poets from Germany, Switzerland and Austria: Thomas Kling, Kathrin Schmidt, Peter Waterhouse, Kerstin Hensel, Ulf Stolterfoht, Joachim Sartorius, Ursula Krechel, Marcel Beyer, Ulrike Draesner, Nico Bleutge, Sabine Scho, Raphael Urweider, Sabine Naef, Uwe Kolbe and Anja Utler. The translators are Australian poets Luke Davies, Dorothy Porter, Robert Gray, Judith Beveridge, Anthony Lawrence, Gig Ryan, Antigone Kefala, Samuel Wagan Watson, Joanne Burns and Peter Skrzynecki, with European poet-translators Michael Hofmann, Andrew Duncan, Richard Dove, Andrew Shields and Tony Frazer.