About our Translation Workshops

Literature Across Frontiers translation workshops are creative and intense cross-cultural encounters for writers and poets working in the many languages of Europe and beyond.

LAF has run over 80 translation workshops with our partners for poets, writers and translators since 2001 in 21 different countries. Around 650 writers/translators writing in 57 languages have participated in LAF workshops to date producing an estimated 7,000 translations of poems and short stories. Some workshops have generated between 150 – 190 translations of poems.

The LAF workshop model is unique. Unlike other translation workshops where writers work in pairs with the assistance of interpreters, or where translations are produced collectively into one language, LAF workshops aim for cross-translation in different directions. We create an environment where participants are encouraged to translate work by everyone in the group and where they can learn about each other’s literary tradition and the contemporary context in which each of them writes.

The week-long residential workshops consist of group sessions and sessions dedicated to individual work, and are very intensive. Daily discussions around the work in progress allow the group to explore the microcosm of each text, as well as the wider issues of translation practice.

These workshop usually focus on poetry as the translation of poetry is usually less well-supported by strong commercial interests – particularly true for the translation of poetry from lesser-read or smaller languages. Poetry is also ideally suited to the week-long residential environment, but we also occasionally run other kinds of workshops for prose and children’s writing and have set up a model for tertiary training of translators (see our Euro-Mediterranean project page for more information on this).

PLEASE NOTE – we cannot currently facilitate workshops which are open for application from writers. But there are several translation workshops run by other organisations which do. Visit our resources section to find out more about these opportunities.

Poetry Connections

One of our recent projects has been Poetry Connections, a series of workshops which bring together poets from Europe with poets of a different region. So far Poetry Connections has taken place in India, Morocco and Turkey. A blog has sprung up from Poetry Connections India – Dubious Saints. And you can watch the film made by DW Gibson about Poetry Connections India below…

Poetry Connections from DW Gibson on Vimeo.