Jean Portante, five poems from SHOOTING STARS / LIBRARY (Étoiles Filantes / Bibliothèque) translated by Zoë Skoulding


To read the texts click here: Jean Portante, five poems


Jean Portante, who lives in Paris, was born in Differdange, Luxembourg, in 1950, and is of Italian origin. He has written more than forty books, including novels, stories, plays, essays, translations and poetry, and has been widely translated. In 2003 his poetry collection L’Étrange langue was given the prestigious Mallarmé poetry award in France, and the same year he also received the French Grand Prix d’Automne de la Société des Gens de Lettres, for his entire body of work. Many other literary prizes have been awarded to him, including the Prix international de la francophonie Benjamin Fondane, the European Petrarca prize, the Rutebeuf prize, and the Alain Bosquet prize. In Luxembourg he has twice been given the Servais Award for the best book of the year for two of his novels, and in 2011 the National Literature Award for his life’s work. His books are published in French mainly by PHI (Luxembourg) and Castor Astral (France), as well as in translation in over twenty other countries. He has been working as a translator for more than thirty years, and has published some forty books in translation. He translates from Luxembourgish, German, English, Spanish and Italian into French. Since 2006, he is a member of the Académie Mallarmé, based in Paris, and member of the Institut Grand-Ducal in Luxembourg.

Zoë Skoulding is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University. Her collections of poetry (published by Seren Books) include The Mirror Trade (2004); Remains of a Future City (2008), shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year; The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (2013), shortlisted for Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; and Footnotes to Water (2019), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry Award 2020. In 2020 she also published The Celestial Set-Up (Oystercatcher) and A Revolutionary Calendar (Shearsman). She received the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 2018 for her body of work in poetry. Her critical work includes two monographs, Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities (2013), and Poetry & Listening: The Noise of Lyric (2020). Her current research project is Transatlantic Translation: Poetry in Circulation and Practice Across Languages (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2020-22), following the network Poetry in Expanded Translation 2017-2018. From 2009 to 2011 she was, in partnership with Literature Across Frontiers, director of Metropoetica, a collaborative project on translation, gender and city space. She is the translator of poetry from French and Spanish, including Jean Portante’s In Reality (Selected Poems).







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