Between the Lines
As Leonard Cohen has written, ‘there’s a blaze of light in every word’. Words shape our personal identities, our relationships and our societies. They are the crux of all human interactions. The relationship between writer, translator and reader is explicated by award-winning poets Mireille Gansell and Sophie Herxheimer and translator Ros Schwartz.
Mireille Gansel has published translations of a number of distinguished poets including Nelly Sachs, Peter Huchel, and Reiner Kunze, as well as letters by Paul Celan. After living in Hanoi in the 1970s, she published the first volume of classical Vietnamese poetry translated into French. Her second and third books as an author, Une Petite Fenêtre d’Or and the poetry collection Comme une Lettre, were published in France in 2017.
Sophie Herxheimer is an artist and a poet. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has held residencies for LIFT, TfL, The Arvon Foundation, Museum of Liverpool and many others. For the Thames Festival, she made a 300 metre tablecloth to run the length of Southwark Bridge, featuring Londoner’s personal stories about food. For another project she built a life-size concrete poem in the shape of Mrs Beeton sited by her grave; a residency in a forest culminated in a thirty metre concertina book, and with Project Phakama she made a pie on the lawn of an old people's home big enough for seven drama students to jump out of singing. She has illustrated five collections of fairy tale and mythology. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Tears in the Fence, Long Poem Magazine, Poems in Which, amongst others. Her latest book Velkom to Inklandt (Short Books, September 2017) was an Observer poetry book of the month and a Sunday Times poetry book of the year. She teaches and collaborates extensively.
Ros Schwartz has translated a range of fiction and non-fiction from Francophone authors as diverse as Sembène Ousmane, Yasmina Khadra, Aziz Chouaki and Dominique Eddé. In 2010 she published a new translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, and she is currently involved in the retranslation of George Simenon’s oeuvre for Penguin Classics. She has been awarded Chevalier d’Honneur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Bidisha is a broadcaster, film-maker, journalist and critic specialising in international affairs, social justice, arts and culture and international human rights. She writes for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Observer and Poetry Review, and broadcasts for BBC, Channel 4 and Sky News. Her most recent book, Asylum and Exile: The Hidden Voices of London, is based on her work with asylum seekers and refugees. Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, premiered at the Breaking Ground festival in Berlin in November 2017.