A Sudanese Celebration of Sarah Maguire (1957-2017), Founder of the Poetry Translation Centre in London

A PowerPoint sequence of photographs of Sarah, which ran from childhood through to a late moment in her life: sitting, feisty and smiling, in a hospital lounge chair receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, showed what the eulogists spoke of — her resilience, determination, joyfulness, and generosity. Eliot Prize in 2007, and the Forward Prize (best single poem) in 2005 and 2007. Sarah chaired the workshops in the same inclusive spirit, and taught me much, and not only about translation. Poet Sarah Maguire (1957-2017) died at the end of last year at age 60. At the end of March, poetry lovers got together to remember her:
By   Norbert Hirschhorn
Photo credit: Crispin Hughes. She is one of a few English poets whose work appears in an all-Arabic edition. The celebration was held on the 24th of March, 2018, to a full audience at the AM Qattan Foundation Mosaic Rooms in London. Norbert Hirschhorn
27 March 2018


Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading…‹ The Director of the Egyptian Society for Science Fiction on Arabic SF’s Past, Present, and FutureCategories: poetry, translation, UncategorizedTags: Poetry Translation Centre, PTC, Sarah Maguire, Sudan Sarah’s commitment to translation of poets from southern nations began when she was sent by the British Council in 1996 to Palestine. Al-Saddiq-Al Raddi’s poems were presented in both languages, as well as Sarah’s own poems that had been translated into Arabic. Sarah was a special friend to many poets of all nations, whose works she helped bring into English through the Poetry Translation Centre (PTC), which she founded in 2004. Accomplished in the craft, Sarah was shortlisted for the T.S. Eulogies in Arabic and English were given by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi, Rashid Sid Ahmed, and (by video) Sabry Hafez. The author of four collections of poetry, she founded London’s “Poetry Translation Centre,” which became a hub for translators, poets, and those who loved poetry. Through engagement with poets around the world, she developed the determination to fight the notion of ‘otherness’. Her early training as a gardener led to being poet-in-residence at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and editor of A Green Thought in a Green Shade: Poetry in the Garden (Poetry Society, 2000) and   Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse   (Chatto and Windus, 2001). (I joined shortly after.) Sudanese poets were among the dozens coming from 45 southern nations, whose poems the Centre’s workshops translated. An anthology published in 2014, My Voice: A Decade of Poems from the Poetry Translation Centre   (Bloodaxe Books, Ltd.), presented 111 of these poems.