A Hall of Poetic Mirrors
Written by Babel Festival
Considering that Swiss poets from the country’s different linguistic regions don’t really know each other’s work, in 2016 Babel Festival got the project Poethreesome under way, by inviting Odile Cornuz, Laura Accerboni and Ulrike Ulrich to translate each other’s work. To take part in the Poethreesome project, poets do not necessarily need to know the other poets’ language: they can work with an interlinear translation that combines a literal translation (mot-à-mot) with a series of notes about the form, tone, style, cultural references and so on, or through the medium of a third language known by both poet and translator. Whatever the case, the source poet and the translator poet always share a language: the language of poetry.
The poets for 2017 were Michael Fehr, Andrea Bianchetti and Gaia Grandin, whose poems and translations will be published in Specimen at the beginning of August. For the 2018 edition, Babel Festival has invited Prisca Agustoni, Marina Skalova and Gianna Olinda Cadonau. All of them are multilingual poets who write original work in more than one language: Agustoni in Italian, French and Portuguese, Skalova in French and German, Cadonau in Romansh and German. If there is one thing we are not scared of at Babel, apparently, is complication.
As Skalova and Cadonau are now heading to Leukerbad to read at Internationales Literaturfestival Leukerbad (June 30), we are giving you a preview of their work, so that you can start losing yourself inside their hall of poetic mirrors. Agustoni will join them at Babel for the festival opening night on September 14, and the whole trio will then read through Autumn at Poésie en Ville (Geneva, September 28), Dis da Litteratura (Domat, November 2-4) BuchBasel (November 11), and Zürich Literaturhaus (November 21).