The 19th International Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 2–4 November 2007
An intriguing element of this year’s Aldeburgh Poetry Festival programme is that it features two poet/translators who translate one another’s poems. Jacques Rancourt and John F. Deane – French-Canadian and Irish respectively – will be reading both their own poems and their translations of each other’s work. They have also agreed to put their long-standing and unusually symbiotic relationship under scrutiny in ‘Alter Ego / Ego Alter’, a specially-convened Festival conversation. They’ll discuss what effect inhabiting someone else’s poems enough to translate them has had on their individual writing; and disentangle the creative risks and rewards of this ongoing entente cordiale. This kind of event is a typical example of the way Aldeburgh has developed and diversified over the past few years. Still committed to its major readings, the Festival also capitalises on the particular interests of, and connections between, its unique line-up of poets. So as well as eight high quality readings – each involving two, three or four poets – this year the Festival offers another forty-two events (sixteen of them entirely free), a stimulating mix of craft talks, close readings, lectures, workshops, performances, interviews and conversations.