In Translation

In 1993 The Many Press published ‘Being Here’, a pamphlet collection of poems translated from the Punjabi by the UK-based poet Amarjit Chandan (this was, I think I’m right in saying, the only Many Press publication that was reprinted). I worked with Amarjit on the English versions of many of these poems, and continued to work with him for some years afterwards. This is a frequent way of working now and does of course reflect an imbalance – they know English but we don’t know their language

A full-length collection by the UK-based Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan, ‘Sonata for Four Hands’, published in dual-text, was published by Arc Press in 2010 – for further details see The book has a preface by John Berger as well as a substantial introduction by Stephen Watts.

I am currently working with a London-based Iraqi poet, Abdulkarim Kasid, on English versions he has made with his daughter. Born in Basra in 1946, he left Iraq in 1978 and lived and worked in Aden and Damascus before settling with his family in London. He has translated Rimbaud and St John Perse into Arabic. Widely published in the Arab world, little of his work has appeared in English. But some of the versions we have made are starting to appear in magazines and some can be seen (though they have since been somewhat revised) on the Shadowtrain site at Others have appeared in Poetry London. Two poems, one dealing with Rimbaud’s time in Aden, living near where Abdulkarim Kasid lived, are on Intercapillary Space at