The BCLT summer school now has a creative writing focus as well as the main emphasis on translation, and I was awaiting the writing workshops with a certain trepidation – the whole point of being a translator is that you get to write amazing books without having to do the making stuff up part, after all! But these were actually some of the most interesting and inspiring sessions of the week. The organisers had a degree of pity on us, and often let us work from an existing text – after all the best way out of your comfort zone is to take small steps.
So we found ourselves creating new poems by changing the nouns in an existing one, or rewriting a piece of prose as a poem (or vice versa) and translating a Grimm fairytale by retelling it in a new form. Despite my fears, people seemed to enjoy what I wrote, and while I wouldn’t claim my efforts as great literature, it was yet another step on my path towards being less intimidated by poetry.