Poet and translator in conversation

Poet and translator in conversation

Lieke Marsman and Sophie Collins

28 May 2019 - Poetry Book Society

Lieke Marsman’s very personal collection The Following Scan Will Last Five Minutes was translated from Dutch by Sophie Collins, and published last April by Pavilion Poetry. The book was written in the three months following the poet’s diagnosis of chondrosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of twenty-seven. It includes a series of short poems and an essay responding to Audre Lorde’s reflections on cancer, and mixes personal experiences of the disease with social criticism. The English translation ends with a translator’s note in the form of a letter to the author. The Poetry Book Society interviewed both the poet and translator to learn more about this moving book and its themes, and to explore their collaboration and the translation process.

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Poetry Book Society

The Poetry Book Society (PBS), set up by T. S. Eliot and friends in 1953 ‘to propagate the art of poetry’, is a unique poetry book club, delivering the best new poetry to their members, alongside a Bulletin, a poetry magazine, reviews and discounts. PBS also offers a translation membership, for poetry in translation fans. Every quarter, their expert selector George Szirtes chooses his favourite poetry in translation book. PBS Translation Members receive Szirtes’ quarterly Translation Choice, alongside their Bulletin. The Following Scan Will Last Five Minutes by Lieke Marsman is the PBS Summer 2019 Translation Choice.