Poetry Translation Workshop in Aberystwyth

Poetry Translation Workshop in Aberystwyth

Ahead of International Translation Day, Wales Literature Exchange, in conjunction with Wales PEN Cymru and Literature Across Frontiers, have organized a special literary translation event in Aberystwyth on Sunday, 8th of September.

Two distinguished writers – the Syrian-Kurdish poet and translator Golan Haji and the Francophone Algerian writer and poet Samira Negrouche – will be giving a public talk about their work at the Arad Goch Centre in Aberystwyth.

This will be followed by translation workshops focussing on one or two of their poems. The day will close with a discussion for translators (or those interested in the art of translation) on how best to support Wales’ translators in the future. The workshops will be led by Mererid Hopwood and Zoë Skoulding. For more information about the poets, and to reserve a place for the workshops, click here


About the workshops: 

Two workshops will be held in parallel on 8th September.  Each workshop will focus on the work of one of our two guest poet-translators — Golan Haji and Samira Negrouche — and each will be led by a prominent Welsh poet and creative translator, Mererid Hopwood and Zoë Skoulding.

Workshop with Golan Haji and Mererid Hopwood. Target Language: Welsh

This workshop will focus on translating Golan Haji’s work from Arabic, via French or English, into Welsh.

Workshop with Samira Negrouche and Zoë Skoulding. Target Language: English

This workshop will focus on translating Samira Negrouche’s work from French into English or via Spanish, German and Italian translation into English.



Golan Haji is a Syrian-Kurdish poet and translator with a postgraduate degree in pathology. He was born in 1977 in Amouda, a Kurdish town in the northeast of Syria. He studied medicine at the University of Damascus. He now lives in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. He has published four books of poems in Arabic: 'He Called Out Within The Darknesses' (2004), 'Someone Sees You as a Monster' (2008), 'Autumn, Here, is Magical and Vast' (2013), 'Scale of Injury' (2016). His collection 'A Tree Whose Name I Don’t Know' was published in English by A Midsummer Night’s Press, NY 2017, translated by Stephen Watts. His poetry appeared in several languages. His translations from English and French include, among others, books by Mark Strand, Robert Louis Stevenson and Alberto Manguel. He also published Until The War, 2016, a book of prose based on interviews with Syrian women.

Samira Negrouche is a Francophone Algerian-Amazigh poet and translator living in Algiers. She trained as medical doctor but has dedicated herself exclusively to writing, translation and creative projects. She has published six poetry collections and several artist books, including 'A l’ombre de Grenade' (2003), 'Le Jazz des oliviers' (2010) and 'Six arbres de fortune autour de ma baignoire' (2017). Her latest publication is 'Quai 2I1, partition à trois axes' (2019). Translator of Arabic poetry into French and promoter of contemporary francophone Algerian poetry, she edited the anthology "Quand l’Amandier fleurira" published in 2012 and created the poetry show 'Soleils' presenting Algerian francophone poetry form the 1930s until today. She often collaborates with visual artists and musicians, including the Marianne Piketty, Katerina Fotinaki, Lionel Martin and Bruno Helstroffer, with whom she created 'Quai 2I1' in 2018, as well as the graphic artist Ali Silem, with whom she created the installation 'Bâton/Totem' in 2016. A major voice in her country, her poetry is translated into over twenty languages. She has participated in international poetry and literary events and is frequently invited to give readings, lectures and masterclasses.

Mererid Hopwood was born in Cardiff. After a degree in Spanish and German from Aberystwyth University, she gained a doctorate in German Literature from University College, London.  She has since taught languages at Swansea University and in schools in Wales and is currently Professor at University of Wales, Trinity St. David. She was the first female poet to win the Chair competition at the National Eisteddfod (2001) and two years later, won the Crown competition. A novel O Ran also won her the Prose Medal in 2008. 'Nes Draw', the first collection of her poetry won the 2016 Wales Book of the Year Welsh Poetry category and was selected to the Wales Literature Exchange 2016 Bookcase.

Zoë Skoulding is a poet, translator, editor and critic. She has published four collections of poetry, including 'The Museum of Disappearing Sounds' (Seren, 2013) and 'Remains of a Future City' (Seren, 2008), poems from which have been widely translated. Her own translations include a collection by the Luxembourgish poet Jean Portante, 'In Reality' (Seren, 2013) and a co-translation with him of Jerome Rothenberg's 'Poland/1931' into French. She is Reader in the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at Bangor University, and was the editor of Poetry Wales between 2008 and 2014. She recently directed the AHRC network Poetry in Expanded Translation (2017-18), which brought together poets and translators for a series of international encounters.

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