Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poet Valzhyna Mort

On 11 November 2008, I went to hear Belarusian poet, Valzhyna Mort, reading poems, both in English and in her native language, from her debut poetry collection, Factory of Tears, at The Center for the Art of Translation. Her poetry was as wonderful as her looks. Inevitably, San Francisco's poet laureate Jack Hirschman was there as he is a wonderful translator of Russian poetry and added his knowledge of Belarus history in the final question and answer period. Ms. Mort not only appreciates the art of translation, it has become part of her art: Writing from her first inspiration in her native language, she then translates the verse into English, to see how what she has written looks in a separate world, with a different mythos, which inspires her to return and deepen her own original language version.

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