Help us publish a special issue of Modern Poetry in Translation, produced in partnership with Dead [Women] Poets Society.
By necessity, we have to raise money for every edition of Modern Poetry in Translation we produce – usually partnering with embassies or cultural foundations.
For a focus such as this, which aims to transgress boundaries of space and time, our usual international funding sources are unavailable.
We’re asking our friends and supporters to help us bring this issue to life! Find out more on our Indiegogo page and help us bring this issue to life.
We’re raising money so we can:
- Publish this special issue and pay contributors and the guest editors properly
- Produce an A5 postcard to commemorate the issue
- Host an online séance to launch the issue in style
Find out more on our Indiegogo page.
Illustration: Lily Arnold
Who are the Dead Women Poets?
slovenly needlewomen, (all
our sewing came apart), dancers,
players upon pipes: we have been
the queens of the whole world!
– Marina Tsvetaeva, ‘We Shall Not Escape Hell’ (tr. Elaine Feinstein)
Who are the Dead Women Poets? How dead are they? And what is our relationship to them, as contemporary women, poets, artists, ‘queens of the whole world’?
Since 2015, Dead [Women] Poets Society has been resurrecting women and non-binary poets of the past. In live events (which they call séances) and online, they highlight women’s astonishing but too-often forgotten literary heritage, and open up conversation between living writers and their great-great-grandmothers. Poets such as Astra Papachristodoulou, Warda Yassin, Rachel Long and Caroline Bird have communed with Mina Loy, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Anna Wickham and more, reading their poems to a candle-lit audience and reflecting on how their chosen Dead Women Poets have influenced them.
Many of the D[W]PS guest poets have heard the call of Dead Women Poets of other languages – from Nadia Anjuman to Gisèle Prassinos – and translation has always been integral to the D[W]PS mission, After all, isn’t translation a kind of resurrection? And isn’t the role of the medium to communicate with the living what the dead still have to say? Having paused their Arts Council England funded tour, the D[W]PS team can’t wait to guest-edit this issue of MPTand bring women and non-binary poets from all corners of the world back to life in its pages.
Not enough women poets get translated
Modern Poetry in Translation also realises the importance of interrogating the canon, and asking who gets to be translated and why.
The lack of female identifying poets in translated anthologies is often even more glaring than in English-language ones. So we are very excited indeed to be working on a special autumnal issue in which Helen Bowell and Jasmine Simms of the D[W]PS team will guest-edit the focus, bringing to your attention astonishing female poets from around the world. MPT has to fundraise towards every issue and for all events, something harder than ever in the current climate, and are committed to fairly pay all artists and contributors involved.
For a themed focus such as this our usual international funding sources are unavailable, and we are reaching out to the community to support us in producing what we think will be an important issue, along with a Halloween launch. (Also, there are cool bags).
We encourage those of all genders and none to #JoinTheSéance.