The poetry translation project VERSschmuggel / reVERSible is a symbiotic lyrical laboratory for materiality, conceptual intensity, and background noise hosted by Haus für Poesie in Berlin. In recognition of Canada’s role as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the focus of 2020’s VERSschmuggel project was on poetry from Canada. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, six German poets met virtually over Zoom with twelve Canadian poets (six writing in English and six writing in French), “smuggling” their poems across linguistic borders during a week-long translation workshop. The poets worked with all three languages—English, French, and German—reading, discussing, and translating one another’s poems.
The corresponding intimacy that carried across the virtual space is noticeable in the resulting publication, VERSschmuggel / reVERSible: An Anthology of English Canadian Poetry / Poésie du Québec / Dichtung aus Deutschland, making this trilingual collection a remarkable document of lived possibilities.
Featuring original work and translations by 12 Canadian poets and 6 German poets, including:
Aisha Sasha John
Armand Garnet Ruffo
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine