30.04.2016 Books

Centres of Cataclysm

Celebrating 50 years of Modern Poetry in Translation

Saturday 30 April, 09:30am-6:30pm
Wojciech Bonowicz in Cambridge: MPT 50th Anniversary Study Day


Centres of Cataclysm celebrates the fifty-year history of Modern Poetry in Translation, one of the world’s most innovative and exciting poetry magazines. Founded in 1965 by Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort, MPT has constantly introduced courageous and revolutionary poets of the 20th and 21st century to English-speaking readers. Ted Hughes thought of MPT as an ‘airport for incoming translations’ – from the whole world, across frontiers of space and time. These are poems we cannot do without.

The anthology is not arranged chronologically but, from a variety of perspectives, it addresses half a century of war, oppression, revolution, hope and survival. In so doing, it truthfully says and vigorously defends the human. In among the poems are illuminating letters, essays and notes on the poets, on the world in which they lived and on the enterprise of translating them.

Polish poets featured in the book: Wisława Szymborska, Wojciech Bonowicz, Tadeusz Różewicz, Krystyna Miłobędzka, Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar, Anna Kühn-Cichocka, Halina Poświatowska.

MPT seeks a real diversity of voices: women and men equally, different centuries, countries, races, creeds, languages, cultures, ideas. The very essence of the founding principle was: Your view is not the only one.

— David & Helen Constantine

The burning heart of cataclysm at the centre of the anthology is drawn out; through translation, migration and exile, it is transplanted into another soil. The word spoken under duress becomes a word of affirmation: a protection and a stating of our own humanity.
— Sasha Dugdale

MPT is the Fifth International, anyone who wants to change the world and see it changed should join.
— John Berger

Find out more about MPT’s 50th anniversary

Centres of Cataclysm. Celebrating 50 years of Modern Poetry in Translation
Edited by Sasha Dugdale and David & Helen Constantine
Published by Bloodaxe Books
ISBN: 9781780372648
Buy online

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