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Poetry - From the Carso to Kushiro: Translation & Transformation


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We welcome Andrew Fitzsimons, Nadine Willems, and Paul Rossiter for this special event! Poetry plus discussion.

In 1915, while Giuseppe Ungaretti was serving as a soldier in the Italian army trenches of the Carso region in northeastern Italy, he wrote his first book, Il Porto Sepolto (1916), a volume that changed Italian poetry. Andrew Fitzsimons will talk about the process of translating this book, read from his own new version of it (The Sunken Keep: Isobar Press, 2017),and discuss the possible influence of translations of Japanese poetry on Ungaretti’s work.

In 1930, Genzō Sarashina was living in northeastern Hokkaido, not far from Kushiro, where he was a member of a small but thriving literary community. He was a teacher of Ainu schoolchildren, a politically engaged anarchist, an ethnographer, and the editor of a notable poetry journal, which published prominent modernist poets from all over Japan. Nadine Willems, translator of Kotan Chronicles: Selected Poems 1928–1943 (Isobar Press: 2017), will talk about Sarashina’s life, work, and cultural experience, and the effect of his reading of foreign texts in translation; Paul Rossiter will read some of Sarashina’s poems.

Entrance is free; no reservation necessary.