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A Gap in the Clouds: Translating Medieval Japanese Poetry

Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation  is inviting you to join for the launch of a new translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, one of the most important poetry collections in Japan.

Date: Thursday, 11 February 2021
Time: 5.30 PM
Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-gap-in-the-clouds-translating-medieval-japanese-poetry-today-tickets-137401151543?aff=ebdssbeac&keep_tld=1

Compiled ca. 1235 by Fujiwara no Teika, it is one of the most important poetry collections in Japan, a collection of 100 poems by 100 poets, composed by emperors and empresses, courtiers, high priests, ladies-in-waiting and soldier-calligraphers over almost 400 years. The 100 poems in the collection are Tanka, a related form of poem to the more famous Haiku. Each one works as a mental snapshot of scene, filled with symbolism and layers of interpretation.

This new translation, A Gap in the Clouds, is a collaboration between James Hadley, Director of the MPhil in Literary Translation at Trinity College, and poet Nell Regan. The collection combines the scholarly research to understand the historical and cultural context of medieval Japan, where the poems were originally written; with the poetic mastery to allow each text to be appreciated as a poem in its own right in English. The book includes all 100 of the poems in English translation, accompanied by the original poems in beautiful Japanese calligraphy.

James and Nell will be joining this event to discuss the background to the collection, how they went about translating the poems, and will read some of their favourites from the collection.

Nell Regan is a poet and non-fiction writer based in Dublin. She has published three collections of poetry: Preparing for SpringBound for Home and One Still Thing. Her awards include an Arts Council Literature Bursary, a Fellowship at the International Writing Programme, Iowa; and she has been a Fulbright Scholar at U.C. Berkeley, as well as Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellow. Her biography Helena Molony, A Radical Life, 1883-1967 was Irish Independent 2017 Book of the Year. Her translations of the Irish language poetry of Micheál Mac Liammóir have been published in Poetry Ireland Review and Cyphers. She works freelance as an educator and literary programmer. Her recent collaboration with composer & musician Mary Barnecutt, supported by the Arts Council, has just been launched at www.eavesdrop.ie

James Hadley is Ussher Assistant Professor in Literary Translation at Trinity College Dublin. He is the director of the College’s master’s degree in Literary Translation, which is based at the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation. After studying Japanese and Computing at the undergraduate level, and later Buddhism and Translation Studies at the master’s level, James completed a PhD in Translation Studies in 2013. Since then, James has become known as one of the leading theoretical researchers in indirect translation, or the translation of translations. James is a strong proponent of using computer-based tools in the production of translation research. James is also very interested in practices that stretch our casual assumptions about what translation is and how it functions.

If you would like to pre-order this book, please click here: https://www.dedaluspress.com/product/a-gap-in-the-clouds/