Fiction – Body Literature

Catapult in Translation

Be Untexed – Issue 2

The House of Thirst

In 2017 the annual report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that 72 countries around the world criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 which outlaw sexual relationships between women. In eight countries, homosexuality can lead to the death penalty. This year has brought encouraging stories, such as Trinidad and Tobago’s move towards decriminalising homosexuality after a high court judge ruled that the colonial-era law banning gay sex was unconstitutional, but progress is sadly far from inevitable last autumn the Turkish government banned LGBTQ events, leading those in the community to be increasingly worried for their safety. Fear of arrest is one of the many reasons why LGBTQ+ poets around the world are too rarely heard at all, let alone translated. Even if a writer is not deterred by systematic privilege, prejudice and abuse, to send a poem out into the wider world can require a great deal of bravery, not only from themselves but from their translator, editor, publisher and even bookseller.

Cordite Poetry Review — 87: DIFFICULT

When people say ‘difficult’ and ‘poetry’ in the same sentence they are usually referring to the experience of reading a certain type of poem. It is often a poem that seems to make little sense, that doesn’t have a strong sense of narrative, that uses strange words or strange forms, that does not follow rules of grammar and syntax, that may not even communicate any coherent message at all. Difficult poetry, for some reason, is a phrase that refers to these weird poems and the people who try to read them. Difficult poetry is about the tension and struggle to make sense of this weirdness.

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