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‘Translation: a Tool to Enlarge the World’ by David Shook

Posted on 04/10/2014
By Commonwealth Foundation


“I wanted access to Bangla Language writing. I had a sense that I was missing out. I think Bangla is one of the world’s largest languages. I think that translation is a tool to both enlarge our world and, I hope, to engage with their writing.”
David Shook

David Shook spoke to Commonwealth Writers at the 2013 Hay Festival Dhaka about whether fiction is political, why he was drawn to poetry, and why he wants to see more Bangla writing translated into English (apologies for the poor quality of the recording).

David-Shook-hay-festival-dhaka-2013 David Shook’s debut collection of poetry, Our Obsidian Tongues (2013), was long-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He served as Translator in Residence at the 2012 Poetry Parnassus, where he premiered his documentary Kilometer Zero, about the search for Equatorial Guinean poet Marcelo Ensema Nsang. His recent translations include works by Mario Bellatin, Tedi Lopez Mills, and Ozwald de Andrade. In 2013 he guest edited a special issue of World Literature Today devoted to Bangladesh. His most recent project is a drone that drops poetry.

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