Westerly Centre

Translation residency

In November 2011 the Westerly Centre is bringing translators from the Association of Stories of Macao, Iris Fan Xing and Jo You Chengcheng, to the University of Western Australia for the purpose of translating Western Australian poets into Chinese.

Coordinating the residency is the University of Macau's Christopher (Kit) Kelen, an Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing.

  1. Association of Stories in Macau
  2. Western Australian poet's anthology
  3. The translators

Association of Stories in Macao

ASM is a non-profit community publisher based in the Macao SAR of China. The general brief of ASM is to promote writing and other artistic expression in and about Macao. Since its inception in 2005 ASM has published more than sixty books, many of these first volumes of poetry or fiction by young Macao authors.

Over the past five years a major emphasis in ASM's work has been on the translation of classical Chinese poetry into English and of contemporary poetry in both directions (English-Chinese, Chinese-English). These activities have resulted in the publication of dozens of volumes of poetry in parallel text format. They have also provide dozens of young Macao writers with a valuable apprenticeship in both poetry translation and poetry writing. ASM has to date published two large scale parallel text (English-Chinese) anthologies of Australian poets:

  • Fires Rumoured about the City – Fourteen Australian Poets (2009)
  • Wombats of Bundanon – Twenty Australian Poets (2010).

A third volume, result of a 2011 poetry translation residency at Bundanon in NSW, is currently in preparation and expected to be published before the end of the year. ASM's publication of these Chinese language volumes of Australian poets has to date been funded by the Macao Foundation, the Macao Institute of Culture and some other local arts funding organisations.

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Western Australian poets' anthology

It is hoped that a WA poets anthology will result from the November workshops and will see publication in Macao sometime in 2012. WA poets currently involved in the project include:

  • John Kinsella
  • John Mateer
  • Andrew Burke
  • Barbara Temperton
  • Philip Mead
  • Lucy Dougan
  • Dennis Haskell

Poets Fay Zwicky, Morgan Yasbincek, Marcella Polain, Charmaine Papertalk Green and Maitland Schaars have also been invited to participate.

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The translators

Christopher (Kit) Kelen (客遠文) is a well-known Australian scholar and poet whose literary works have been widely published and broadcast since the seventies. Kelen holds degrees in literature and linguistics from the University of Sydney and two doctorates from the University of Western Sydney – a PhD in the area of poetics and an EdD in Critical Pedagogy of Creative Writing. The most recent of Kelen’s ten volumes of poetry are God preserve me from those who want what’s best for me, published in 2009 by Picaro Press, (N.S.W, Australia), in conversation with the river, published in 2010 by VAC (Chicago, USA), and China Years – Selected and New Poems, by ASM in Macao. In 2010, Kelen’s poem time with the sky placed second in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. For the last eleven years Kelen has taught Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Macau in south China.

Chengcheng (Jo) You has an MA in English literature from Jinan University and currently teaches at college in Guangzhou, pending the commencement of PhD studies in Children's Literature at the University of Macau. Jo has participated in a number of ASM's poetry translation projects, including work on Australian poets and the translation of classical poets Liu Ru Shi and Zhu Shuzhen into English.

Fan (Iris) Xing holds a Master's degree in Creative Writing and Comparative Literature from the University of Macau. Her bilingual (Chinese-English) book of poems Lost in the Afternoon was published by ASM in 2009. She was awarded first prize in poetry category of Hong Kong City Literary Awards 2011. She has worked on many classical and contemporary poetry translation projects and was responsible for most of the translations in ASM's first volume of Australian poets, Fires Rumoured about the City. Iris was the editor and principal translator for Kit Kelen's China Year – Selected and New Poems in 2010.

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