#WeSpeakPoetry with Emilie Lauren Jones

The last six months or so doing regular features for the Sunday Tribune has involved projects from writers and artists using lockdown as a chance to try out all kinds of projects.

One such project which I have not seen before which looks particularly interesting is the art of translated poetry. Ran by Emilie Lauren Jones, a writer I first interviewed for Spoken Label back in November of last year, her project called #WeSpeakPoetry Emilie advises “This YouTube series shines a spotlight on quality poetry from a variety of cultures and languages.”

Translations of poetry are a interesting topic I know from experience of translating a friend’s Russian Poetry some years before which wouldn’t have being heard by a English audience, something Emilie agrees with “Many of the translated poems have been brought to an English-speaking audience for the first time. So far there has been poetry in German, Romanian, Urdu, Serbian… the list goes on!”

“Some of the poets have English as a first language but are either from, or have links to, a different country.” She carries on next talking about some of the writers you can find in this project “When I first began this, I wasn’t sure if people would share my enthusiasm or want to send videos in, fortunately my worries were unfounded and there has been a lot of interest in this series – from other poetry organisations, those who enjoy hearing new poetry and poets who have been kind enough to submit their work.“

“Each video is around 3-5 minutes long (perfectly suited to viewers busy lifestyles! Something I can definitely relate to here – Andy N) and they go out every Friday night so most views happen over the weekend.” She concludes “The videos can be accessed via the following link, you can click on your favourites or let it play straight through: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxnKdJPwhDAjeh4m_D7c-RjBq4JYAKvDc”

Anyone interested in submitting a short recording should email Emilie at: [email protected] In association with Coventry City of Culture and Positive Images Festival.

The Technical Part Emilie asks lastly to mention – Videos must be filmed in landscape and must be less than 2gb in size (about six minutes long on a regular camera phone). You are welcome to split your recording into two or three videos if you think you may go over the 2gb file size. Timings are flexible but ideally your video should be no longer than 7 minutes.

Andy N is the author of four full length poetry collections - the most recent being the Streets were all we could see. He is also the host / creator of 'Spoken Label' - a author / writer chat series as well as Podcast series such as Reading in Bed, Comics Unity, Wrestle-Up and the Koll, Andy N and Amanda show. He also ambient music under the name of Ocean in a Bottle. His official blog is onewriterandhisplc.blogspot.com Occasionally he does sleep.