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This report is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

on Being Translated Ian Seed
Although I was expecting it, I could hardly believe my eyes when a copy of Sognatore di sogni vuoti (Edizioni Ensemble) arrived through my letterbox.

A little over two years ago, Iris Hajdari, whom I had met a few months before with her partner the Italian­-Albanian poet Gëzim Hajdari, wrote to me saying that she would like to translate my collection Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman, 2014) into Italian. Apart from a handful of poems translated into Dutch for a web magazine (now nowhere to be found), no one had ever translated my writing before. I felt especially honoured because as a younger man I spent a number of years working in Italy as a teacher and translator. Many of the prose poems in Makers are set in northern Italian cities, towns and hills. At the same time, I didn’t quite believe the translation was actually going to happen. This may have something to do with the fact that, apart from a few bad poems in my youth, I have come to writing relatively late in life. Almost any publication can seem a bit too good to be true. Besides, I knew that Iris worked full-time and was expecting a baby. Life gets in the way of the best-laid plans. I replied to say how delighted I was, but also that there was no rush. I heard nothing until out of the blue eighteen months or so later, I received a draft copy to check the Italian translation of Makers of Empty Dreams.

As I read through, I had the strange sensation of being spied upon naked or while up to something ...


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