Juana Adcock on ‘A Bird is not a Stone’

A Bird Is Not A Stone

Our second poet’s blog post, by Juana Adcock, reflects on what can and can’t be translated. The original can be read on Juana’s blog:

I am really excited about the forthcoming publication A Bird Is Not A Stone, an anthology of contemporary Palestinian poetry translated into English, Scots, Gaelic and Shetlandic. The book will be published in summer 2014 by Freight Press.
The poems, by 25 different artists, were translated using the ‘bridge’ method, in which Scottish poets worked from literal translations to create new ‘versions’ of the works. The poems were selected by the House of Poetry in al-Bireh, Palestine, and translated in Scotland. The idea for the project was born at a meeting between Murad al-Sudani and Rana Barakat of the House of Poetry and Scottish poets Liz Lochhead, Billy Letford, Henry King, Henry Bell and Lorna MacBean in summer 2012.
I worked very hard at my…

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What a long time it takes to get a book into a reader’s hands!

Nobody warned me, during my youthful years of dreaming to become a writer, that finishing writing a book was just the start. That painful, almost mystically transformative experience of starting out with an idea and following it through to its conclusion, holding it lovingly through countless crises and reconfigurations, critiques and judgements, re-writes and re-formatting, is nothing but a minuscule, almost insignificant step on the path to becoming a writer. (If one does ever become such a thing!) Then there is (if going via the traditional route) mustering up the courage to get your manuscript into the slush pile, graciously receiving the rejection letters, perhaps maybe one day finding an editor who believes in your work enough to risk publishing it (and plenty of money is risked doing that, so no wonder they are reluctant), and then everything that comes with negotiating the editing phase, the formatting, the typesetting, the proofs, the print, the launch, the promotion, the distribution, the sales, and maybe, maybe one day, somebody will pick it up and read it. The gap between creation and delivery is so painfully huge. I’m so glad the wait for Manca is over, and someone might actually be able to read the thing!