Sarah Maguire has published four highly-acclaimed collections of poetry, Spilt Milk (Secker; 1991; reprinted PBS; 2007), The Invisible Mender (Cape; 1997), The Florist’s at Midnight (Cape; 2001) and The Pomegranates of Kandahar (Chatto; 2007), a Poetry Book Society Choice that was short-listed for the TS Eliot Prize, 2007. Sarah edited the innovative and popular anthology Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse which was published in 2001. She received the Cholmondeley Award in 2008.
Sarah was the first writer to be sent to Palestine (in 1996) and to Yemen (in 1998) by the British Council. Since then she has been active in translating contemporary Arabic poetry into English. Currently, she is translating the work of the leading Sudanese poet, Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi with Atef Alshaer. With Yama Yari, she co-translated A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear (Chatto, 2006) by Atiq Rahimi, Afghanistan’s leading novelist.
Sarah is the only living English-language poet with a book in print in Arabic; her selected poems, Haleeb Muraq, translated by the leading Iraqi poet, Saadi Yousef, was published by Dar Al-Mada in Damascus in 2003. She is also the only living English-language poet with a poet in print in Malayalam: a selected poems, Kandaharile Mathalanarngagal, translated by Abraham Anthony, was published in Kerala in 2010.
Sarah Maguire is the founder and director of the Poetry Translation Centre. The Centre is dedicated to translating contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America to a high literary standard through innovative collaborations between translators and distinguished British poets: www.poetrytranslation.org
– photo Crispin Hughes