What stays with us after we have read a text? Which phrases, images, incidents linger in our memory? What contributes to the incessant reshaping of our reading selves?
Reviews, such as riveting book presentations published regularly in The Riveter, record not only our reading tastes, but also our gradual transformations as readers. And writers. They register our delights and queries, our impatience and attentiveness.
When a response, such as a review, turns into a poem, our reading becomes a trans-reading: the read text transforms in our mind, under our pen, on our screen. The new text intensifies our perceptions, demonstrates partiality, highlights disciplined selection.
The poets who responded to the writings showcased in The Baltics Riveter, read during the ‘Transreading the Baltics’ course I ran for the Poetry School in London in summer 2018, experimented with translation as well. They played games which borrowed reading and writing strategies used by translators in their creative re-imaginings of originals.
The sample transreadings presented in The Riveter intimate their authors’ sensitivities as readers and writers. These new poems invite us to return to their source texts – to read them once again.
By Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese
Conservation is A C Clarke‘s ‘transreading’ of Krišjānis Zeļģis‘s untitled poem about hitting a deer, translated by Jayde Will and published in The Baltic Riveter. A C Clarke’s response derives from rewriting the poem from memory, Alys Conran’s first method of ‘expanded translation’. It is, in Conran’s words, ‘wilfully inaccurate’ and has become more so with reworking. The poem has been written during ‘Transreading the Baltics’ course ran by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese at the Poetry School.
I slammed into a young deer
while you were laughing
in the back of the car.
I hung the gralloched carcase
a week for tenderness,
served it with olives and beer.
The numbles I stirred
into the gravy. Not a thing
wasted, thrift’s the word.
Would an ecopoet cheer?
I think the deer
By A C Clarke
A C Clarke is a poet and translator living in Glasgow who has won a number of prizes over the years and been widely published in anthologies and magazines. Herfifth full collection, A Troubling Woman(Oversteps Books), centred on the Medieval visionary Margery Kempe, came out in 2017. It is a companion book to Fr Meslier’s Confession, which is centred on the atheist priest Jean Meslier. She was one of four joint winners in the Cinnamon Press 2017 poetry pamphlet competition with War Baby, which was published in January 2018.