Translation was central to Edwin Morgan’s activity as a poet. His Collected Translations (Carcanet, 1996) is as voluminous as his own Collected Poems(Carcanet, 1990) and his lifelong commitment to making the voices of foreign cultures ring out in English and Scots was never a secondary preoccupation. During the years he wrote many of his most popular and enduring collections he was just as busy translating from a vast array of world languages.
In alternate years to the Poetry Award, the Edwin Morgan Trust sponsors biennial translation events that will bring some of the world’s leading foreign language poets to Scotland to participate in workshops and readings alongside Scottish poets.
In March 2019 the Trust funded a workshop with Hungarian and Scottish poets, facilitated by Ken Cockburn. They went on to present their work at the StAnza Festival on March 8-10. Short biographies of participants below.
Mónika Ferencz was born in Budapest in 1991. She has been publishing poems in journals since 2013, and translations since 2015. She received the Mihály Babits Translators’ Grant in spring 2016, and participated in literary translation workshops organized by the Petőfi Literary Museum in Budapest (2016) and the Association of Young Writers (FISZ, 2017). Her first volume of poetry, Hátam mögött dél, was published in spring 2017.
Balázs Szőllőssy, born in Budapest in 1981, is a poet, editor and cultural organiser. He was until recently board member of the Association of Young Writers in Hungary. His first book of poetry, Two Meanings of Freedom, was published in 2010, and his second, In Presso Viewpoint, in 2019. He currently works as cultural attaché at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.
Krisztina Tóth is a poet, playwright and translator. The winner of several awards, including the Graves Prize (1996), the József Attila Prize (2000) and the Laureate Prize, (2008), she is a writer engaged in the poetics of body, and her work is often understood to be ‘écriture féminine’. Her poetry and prose have been translated into more than fifteen languages. She lives in Budapest.
Iain Galbraith grew up on the west coast of Scotland, studied languages in Cambridge, Freiburg and Mainz, and now lives in Wiesbaden (Germany). His collection of poems The True Height of the Ear appreared in 2018. His translations include W.G. Sebald’s Across the Land and the Water. Selected Poems 1964-2001 and Esther Kinsky’s River. He has received the Stephen Spender Prize (2014), the Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation (2015) and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (2016).
Em Strang is a Lead Reader for Open Book, facilitates workshops in Embodied Poetry and has spent the last five years teaching in HMP Dumfries. She is currently setting up a Centre for Embodied Arts, which will offer outreach for ex-prisoners and refugees, as well as workshops in embodied creative practice. Her first full collection, Bird-Woman(2016), won the 2017 Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award.
Kate Tough is a poet and novelist living in Glasgow. Her slavery remembrance piece, ‘People Made Glasgow’, was turned into a motion in the Scottish parliament. Her novel, Head for the Edge, Keep Walking (2014) was issued in a revised second edition as Keep Walking, Rhona Beech in 2019. She has received Creative Scotland funding awards for fiction and poetry, and had literature residencies at Cove Park, Vermont Studio Center and Outlandia.