This was a very well-attended meeting. A return to the fold after a long warm summer. The topic, as always at the beginning of our year. was Free Choice prefaced by a talk by Anne Stewart on her experiences as part of a delegation of poets visiting Romania.
In 2005 a link was forged between Anne (a published poet) and Prof. Dr. Lidia Vianu of the University of Bucharest . British poets would provide creative work to the students of Prof Vianu’s MA course, their reward being publication and radio broadcasts in Bucharest.
This year, for the first time, six British poets under the auspices of Poetry pf visited Bucharest to work with the MA students face to face to help them polish their dissertations and translations of poems into English. Much hard work was done by British poets and students, a continuation of what has already taken place by email over the years but so much more immediate. Each poet worked with 9-14 enthusiastic students helping to untie linguistic knots and make suggestions which were in keeping with the young translators’ intentions.
The visit, most fittingly, coincided with the 400th. anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the British poets were asked to speak about his influence on their work, a hard thing to do.
The SPC meeting continued with the reading of poems by well-known and not so well known poets from the sixteenth century onwards including poetry by Baudelaire and Elizabeth Bishop.