We’re delighted to welcome literary translators Mattho Mandersloot and George Szirtes to the podcast to talk about Mattho’s experience of translating Korean literature and culture. Tune in for a wide-ranging discussion that covers everything from the intricacies of Korean language and the process of translating Choi Jeongrye’s poems; the power of K-pop and the rise in popularity of Korean studies; and how Mattho’s love of Taekwondo led him to a career in literary translation.

Mattho Mandersloot is a literary translator working from Korean into English and Dutch. He earned a BA in Classics from King’s College London, an MA in Translation from SOAS and an MSt in Korean Studies from Oxford. Among others, he has translated bestselling authors Cho Nam-joo and Hwang Sun-mi. In 2020 he won the Korea Times’ 51st Modern Korean Literature Translation Award for his translations of Choi Jeongrye’s poems. Mattho took part in our Emerging Translation Mentorships programme in 2019, and in July 2021 we welcomed Mattho to Norwich for a month-long residency, with support from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. Read Mattho’s commission for our Walking Norwich series here >>

George Szirtes is a poet and translator from Hungary. He came to England in 1956 as a refugee and was brought up in London, going on to study fine art in London and Leeds. George wrote poetry alongside his art and his first collection, The Slant Door, appeared in 1979 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. After his second collection was published he was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Other acclaimed collections and translations followed, a return trip to Budapest in 1984 proving a particularly fruitful trigger for his creativity. Reel, was awarded the 2004 T. S. Eliot Prize.

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Music by Bennet Maples.