Poets Translating Poets: 2 Kashmiris among 15 participants presenting works

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 26: During the  second phase of ongoing poetry project `Poets Translating Poets’  from last June till October 2016,  over 15 poets from South Asia are travelling to over 13 cities and venues in Germany to meet and present their poetry along with their German counterparts.
Naseem Shafaie and Shafi Shauq from Kashmir are among the participants who will be presenting their works along with their German counterparts Ulrike Almut Sandig and Gerhard Falkner in Tubingen, Munich, Kassel and Bremen, Germany, respectively.
Naseem Shafaie was born in Srinagar and she completed her MA in Kashmiri and worked as Assistant Professor of Kashmiri for Higher Education, Govt. of J&K. Her first collection of poetry, Darie-Che-Muthrith was published in 1999. Many of the poems from this collection were then translated into different Indian regional languages as well as foreign languages such as Italian and Korean, besides English. Her second collection of poems published in 2007 is called Na Thasay Na Akx (Neither Shadow nor Reflection). She received the Tagore Literature Award (a joint award by the Govt of India and Govt of Korea) for this. In 2011, she was also awarded the Sahiyta Academi Award, the highest literary award in India.
Shafi Shauq was born in 1950 in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and is an acclaimed poet, fiction writer, linguist and critic. After serving for thirty three years in the University of Kashmir, Prof Shauq retired as Dean Faculty of Arts in 2010. He has authored, edited and translated over forty-seven books in Kashmiri, English, Urdu and Hindi. He has received several National and State awards like the Best Book Award (1982), Sahitya Akademi Award in Creative Writing (2006), Bharti Bhasha Saman Award (CIIL, 2007), Sahitya Akademi Translation Award (2007), Best Teacher Award (2009) and  Ahad Zargar Award (2011).
Prof. Shauq is associated with several national academic projects like Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, Medieval Indian Literature, and Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre. He has written scripts and screen-plays for over fifty-five television films and serials.
‘Poets Translating Poets’ is a two-year-long project initiated in October 2014 by the Goethe-Institute Mumbai along with the Goethe-Institutes in South Asia, and in collaboration with the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin / Haus für Poesie and in Cooperation with Deutsche UNESCO, with an aim to create a platform for poets from South Asia and Germany to translate each other’s works. Contemporary poetry from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka has been translated into German by well-known German poets, while German poetry was similarly translated into South Asian languages during the course of the project. By bringing together 51 poets including 17 German poets from across 20 languages through literary encounters in several South Asian locations, this project promises to stimulate new literary networks and open new avenues for transcultural understanding.
Starting in July 2015, nine ‘poetry encounters’ in Mumbai, Dhaka, Delhi, Karachi, Colombo, Trivandrum/Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Gangtok, have so far been organized, in which poets came together for a week to understand and translate each other’s poetry.