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Poets and the Conversation of Translation

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Organizer: Gregory Dunne

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At a time when an increasing number of poetry translations are coming forth out of Asia, it may be time to assess how these poetries and their translations are widening and deepening our sense of poetry’s possibilities. One thinks of innovative contemporary Asian poets such as the Korean poet Ko Un and his project to write  a poem about every person he has ever known, called “Ten Thousand Lives,” or the Korean poet Kim Hyesoon whose work subverts the expectations of traditional Korean lyric poetry through vivid and visceral language, or the innovative Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimura, whose work the American poet/translator Forrest Gander has worked hard to try to describe by noting, ironically, what is missing from it, which is to say: “anything that resembles conventional poetry. Gozo’s work sprawls, expanding and contracting like the universe." This seminar aims to discuss contemporary Asian poetries that are currently being translated and explore how they are expanding our current understanding of poetry’s possibilities and its aesthetic concerns.


Papers are invited to discuss general topics of translation as related to poetry, whether of Asian texts or non-Asian texts. Papers that deal with concerns and challenges related to the translation of poetry, poetics and aesthetics, are also welcomed

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