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The Poetry Leap: Cambridge

Saturday 29 Feb 2020, 18:00 to 21:00

The Lightfoot Room, Old Divinity School, St John's College
St John's College
Saint Johns Street


Please join us on Leap Saturday, 29th February, from 6pm to hear a readings from poets Juana Adcock, Mina Gorji and Bhanu Kapil, followed by a wine reception. From 8pm there will be a poetry in translation reading from James Womack, Sasha Dugdale and Maria Stepanova. Book free tickets here.

Juana Adcock is a poet, translator and performer. Her Spanish-language poetry collection, Manca, explores the anatomy of violence in the Mexican drug war and was named by Reforma's distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best books published in 2014. In 2016 she was named one of the 'Ten New Voices from Europe' by Literature Across Frontiers, and she has performed at numerous literary festivals internationally. Her English-language debut, Split (Blue Diode Press, 2019) was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice.

Mina Gorji is a lecturer in the English Faculty, Cambridge and a fellow of Pembroke College. Her published work includes a study of John Clare, and essays on unsituatedness, awkwardness, mess, weeds and rudeness. She is currently writing about listening in and to poetry of the Romantic Period. Her poems have appeared, among other places, in Magma, PN Review, London Magazine, The International Literary Quarterly and New Poetries V. Her debut, Art of Escape, was published by Carcanet in January 2020 and was a Telegraph Book of the Month.

Bhanu Kapil is the author of six full-length poetry collections, including How To Wash A Heart (forthcoming from Pavilion Poetry in April 2020) and a new edition of Incubation: a space for monsters (forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press, also in April 2020). She has also been commissioned to write a work of poetic science-fiction by Ignota Press, a companion piece to a new translation of Hildegard von Bingen's Unknown Language by Huw Lemmey (due date: April 2020!) Kapil also maintains a public notebook in which possible next works are dreamed, transcribed, unfolded and sometimes lost. You can read her blog, The Vortex of Formidable Sparkles, here.

The reading will be followed by a wine reception.

Poetry in Translation reading at 8pm

The second reading of the evening will be by Maria Stepanova (translated by Sasha Dugdale) and James Womack reading his acclaimed translations of Manuel Vilas.

Maria Stepanova is a poet, essayist, journalist and the author of ten poetry collections and two books of essays. She has been awarded several Russian and international literary awards (including the prestigious Andrey Bely Prize and Joseph Brodsky Fellowship). Her poetry will be published by Bloodaxe in 2020. Her book In Memory of Memory is a book-length study in the field of cultural history. It won Russia's Big Book Award in 2018 and will be published in English by New Directions in the US and Fitzcarraldo in the UK in 2020. She is Editor-in-Chief of the independent Russian cultural news site

James Womack (1979) is the author of three books of poems: Misprint (2012), On Trust: A Book of Lies (2017, shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize), and Homunculus (forthcoming 2020). He has translated a large number of books from Spanish and Russian, including work by Vladimir Mayakovsky ('Vladimir Mayakovsky' And Other Poems, 2016), Roberto Arlt (The Mad Toy, 2010) and Silvina Ocampo (The Topless Tower, 2009). His most recent full-length collection of translations is Manuel Vilas's Heaven (2020), and he is currently working on a version of Camilo José Cela's La Colmena.

Maria is translated by Sasha Dugdale, and the translations of her poetry and prose will be published by Bloodaxe and Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2020. Sasha is former editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and poet-in-residence at St John's College, Cambridge (2018-2020).

The event is free to attend, and refreshments will be provided. The event is also on Facebook here.

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