Visible Communities virtual translators in residence

Vineet Lal is our fourth Visible Communities virtual translator in residence. Vineet is a literary translator from French to English, based in Scotland. In 2010 he was awarded one of the first-ever Mentorships in Literary Translation by the British Centre for Literary Translation, with Sarah Ardizzone, and in 2011 published his first full-length translation, Lacrimosa by Régis Jauffret. His first translated children’s book, Panthera Tigris by Sylvain Alzial and Hélène Rajcak, was published in October 2019 (a co-translation with Sarah Ardizzone) and his translation of The Woman Who Didn’t Grow Old by Grégoire Delacourt came out in February 2020. His translation of The Secret Life of Writers by Guillaume Musso is forthcoming in June 2021. Vineet will be in virtual residence from September to December 2021.

We will host two literary translators in the cottage at Dragon Hall this autumn, as part of the Visible Communities programme.

In November, we welcome Shagufta Sharmeen Tania. Born in Bangladesh, Shagufta Sharmeen Tania Initially trained as an architect. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in the Bengali-speaking areas of both Bangladesh and India. To date, she has authored two novels, a compilation of novellas and four short story collections. She also translated Susan Fletcher’s Whitbread award-winning novel Eve Green and Antonio Skarmeta’s Burning Patience, from English to Bengali. Her work has appeared in Wasafiri (‘This Gift of Silver’, Issue 84, 2015), Asia Literary Review (‘Notes from the Ward’, Issue 32, 2016), City Press (‘Letters to Her’, Issue 7, 2019) and Not Quite Right for Us (‘Bodies’, 2021 anthology by Speaking Volumes). Currently, she is working on a novel set during the initial years of war-torn Bangladesh, and a fictionalised biography of a celebrated musicologist of Tagore songs. Shagufta was the recipient of the 2018 Bangla Academy Syed Waliullah Award for her contribution to Bengali Literature and she is longlisted for the 2021 BBC Short Story Competition.

In December, we welcome Yvette Siegert, a Latinx poet, translator, and critic. She is the author of Atmospheric Ghost Lights, selected by Monica Youn for the 2021 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. She has received support and mentorship from CantoMundo, Macondo, Bread Loaf, Community of Writers, Ledbury Poetry Critics, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Council England, and the Visible Communities programme at the National Centre for Writing. Her translation of Chantal Maillard’s Killing Plato (New Directions) was shortlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and her translations of Alejandra Pizarnik’s later work, Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962–1972 (New Directions), won the Best Translated Book Award. She is completing a doctorate in Spanish American literature at Merton College, Oxford.

You can find more details about our Visible Communities translators in residence here.

Other residencies

In October 2021, Lauren Razavi will travel from Norwich to Bucheon UNESCO city of literature in South Korea for a six-week residency. Razavi, whose writing has been published in The Guardian, Wired and The Atlantic, will use the Bucheon residency to work on a new storytelling project exploring her background as the child of an Iranian refugee and her experiences living as a digital nomad. She will give weekly updates about her time in Bucheon via her Counterflows newsletter, which can be found at lraz.substack.com. Razavi’s writing and activism focus on issues of global mobility and migration. She has lived as a digital nomad since graduating from UEA with a BA in politics (2013) and an MA in creative writing (2014). Before that, she attended Old Buckingham High School and Wymondham High Sixth Form in Norfolk. Her father arrived as a refugee to the UK in the 1980s following the Iranian Revolution.

In March 2022, we will welcome Aco Peroski from North Macedonia as part of the Translation in Motion project, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Aco Peroski is co-owner and editor of the Macedonian publishing house Artkonekt. He completed a MA degree in Philosophy and a PhD in Comparative literature. He’s been working as a freelance translator for over a decade and has translated more than 70 titles from English, French, Serbian and Croatian. During his residency, Aco will be working on a translation of Edna O’Brien’s collected stories. This will be the first translation of O’Brien into Macedonian language.

In 2022, we will welcome two Belgian writers to Norwich as part of our exchange with Passa Porta. Els Beerten is one of Belgium’s leading young adult novelists. She has been widely translated and has received several awards. Her most successful novel is We All Want Heaven. During her time in Norwich, Els will be working on a coming-of-age novel about two young Italian boys in the wake of the Second World War. The story is set in Belgium, Italy and England. Els plans to explore the traces of war along the Norfolk coast, and would like to spend time listening to locals’ stories.

Sylvie Marie is the author of four poetry collections: Zonder (Without), Toen je me ten huwelijk vroeg (When you asked me to marry you), Altijd een raam (Always a window) and Houdingen (Positions). She co-authored the football novel Speler X (Player X). She has won several poetry slams and likes experimenting on stage and interacting with the audience. Translations of Sylvie Marie’s poetry by Richard Berengarten will appear in Shearsman 125 / 126 in October 2020. During her residency, Sylvie will be working on #grampoems, new poetry and translations of her work into English.

Claudine Toutoungi and Diana Evans will each spend a month at the Passa Porta International House of Literature in Brussels.

Claudine Toutoungi is a poet and playwright whose poems have appeared widely including in Poetry Chicago, PN Review, the Guardian, The Spectator and the Financial Times. Her debut poetry collection Smoothie was published by Carcanet in 2017 and her second poetry collection is forthcoming in 2020. Her plays have been produced in a range of theatres and on Radio 4.

Diana Evans is an award-winning novelist, journalist and critic. Her bestselling novel, Ordinary People, won the 2019 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. She was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers for her debut novel 26a. A graduate of the UEA Creative Writing MA, she contributes to among others Time Magazine, the Guardian and the Financial Times, and is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Penny Boxall will go on a return visit to Estonia as part of our residency exchange with Tartu UNESCO City of Literature. Penny will have the opportunity to take part in the Tartu International Literary Festival Prima Vista, an annual 6-day festival bringing together more than 40 writers from Estonia and abroad.