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Forked Tongues

Forked Tongues is an anthology of Galician, Catalan and Basque women poets, translated by various Irish poets, including myself. The process of translation is fascinating and engaging, and I've enjoyed translating the work of Yolande Castaňo, controversial and erratic as it is. The anthology is expertly edited by Manuela Palacios of Santiago de Compostela university, and is published by Shearsman Books. Copies are available to buy here.

The anthology highlights work that is intense, contemplative, profound, rebellious and experimental. Example from Yolande Castaňo:

But I, daughter of my daughters, will dismantle by sheer dazzle this unfortunate conformity of a yolanda emigré. I, the sterile sovereign, egotist by misadventure. I must weigh the exact dose of memory and oblivion. So I see the path with a view from behind. All the dark generations that are born in me. There is no direction that does not contain me, race that does not rise in me armies of cyphers reaching for me with primitive fingers. I study my steps. Like a forest of symbols I cannot translate. Much shedding of skin but I never wished for an end. Meagre garden, wind trapped in the hands, infinite grid. I renounce the home of this breath. I wish I knew how to leave.
(Translation © Máighréad Medbh

(from I is Other. Self-Portriats of New Poetry, 2001)

Buy Forked Tongues


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