September 26, 2023


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Literary News: Italian Students take Literary Translation to a new level

3 min read

A new poetry chapbook series Correnti Incrociate featuring two Indian poets Padmaja Iyenger and Anuradha Bhattacharyya is releasing in June (Published by Mosaïque Press ). It features the Italian interpretations of 49 English-language poems.

Literary translation is a skill that sits comfortably in the background when it’s done well, invisible to the eye and ear; an art form in its own right to delight and engage its audience in whatever language they find it.

English-language poetry transformed in the hands of postgraduate students at the University of Salerno 

Correnti Incrociate (‘Cross-currents’), the latest in the poetry chapbook series from Mosaïque Press, is one such gem – with a twist sure to delight lovers of language and artistic expression. Alongside the Italian interpretations of 49 English-language poems in this 150-page volume are the originals, line for line, to provide fascinating insights into language itself.

Two Indian poets, notably Padmaja Iyengar and Anuradha Bhattacharyya are included in this collection.

Correnti Incrociate is the result of a collaboration with the University of Salerno’s Department of Humanities, in which postgraduate students studying literary translation with Prof Linda Barone translated poems selected by book co-editor John Eliot.

“I was interested in giving the students an experience of works that they might not normally come across,” he said. “Of course, quality was also important.” 

Here is an anthology that reflects excellence in poetry; an anthology with as many different styles as poets. The subject matter is equally broad and ranges from lamenting university degrees, babysitting in a crematorium, an appreciation of Brugel, to navigating Kings Cross station, and speculating on Kalashnikov’s regrets. “The list is quite endless,” said Eliot.  

Publisher Chuck Grieve said: “It’s been a delight to produce this book. The poems are consistently entertaining and thought-provoking, and the great thing about the face-to-face format is you don’t need fluency in Italian to appreciate how they work in that language too.”

Eliot, whose involvement with the 2019 Salerno Literary Festival led to the companion chapbook Canzoni del Venerdi Sera, said: “This whole exercise has been a pleasure from start to finish. I want to thank all at Salerno University who were involved in the project and of course the poets without whom this would not have been possible. We’ve produced an anthology that we can be proud of.”

Correnti Incrociate is published on 1 June by Mosaïque Press, priced at £6.99, and available through online retail bookshops.

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