Diana Anphimiadi interviews, reviews & poem features
'... this is gorgeous, fabulising verse.' - Fiona Sampson, The Guardian, best recent poetry, on Why I No Longer Write Poems
Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi's Why I No Longer Write Poems was published on 24 February 2022 by Bloodaxe Books and the Poetry Translation Centre. This Georgian-English selection draws on Diana Anphimiadi’s four collections in Georgian. Her award-winning work glides between classical allusions and surreal imagery – it is witty, shocking and surprising, at once ancient and modern. This first full-length selection of her poetry in English was longlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2022.
Diana launched book with a series of readings in March 2022, starting off at StAnza in St Andrews on 12 March 2022. Visa problems meant that her participation had to be online, but her translators Natalia Bukia-Peters and Jean Sprackland appeared in person.
In her introduction, Natalia Bukia-Peters discusses Diana Anphimiadi's poetry, setting it in its historical and political context. She writes:
‘Life and death are the scale at which Anphimiadi’s poems often operate. Her work doesn’t flinch from the most fundamental human experiences.’
'Bond' from Why I No Longer Write Poems is featured on Poems on the Underground posters in London Underground and Overground trains for four weeks from 27 February 2023. See the poster here.
'Bond' by Diana Anphimiadi, a Georgian poet of Greek ancestry, translated by Natalia Bukia-Peters and Jean Sprackland: ‘When I leave, your words follow – you are mine! You know I’ll always come back.’
UK REVIEW COVERAGE
Fiona Sampson reviewed Why I No Longer Write Poems in The Guardian of 5 February 2022. Online here.
'This collection by a leading Georgian poet is part of the Poetry Translation Centre’s programme commissioning British poets – here, Jean Sprackland – to work with literary translators. In this case, that’s Natalia Bukia-Peters, who also provides a knowledgeable Introduction setting this work in the national context of epic poetry, and of a vocabulary of myth. For this is gorgeous, fabulising verse.... Bloodaxe is especially to be commended for publishing this important work in bilingual edition.' - Fiona Sampson, The Guardian, Best recent poetry
Fiona also interviewed Diana and her translator Natalia Bukia-Peters for Trafika Europe Radio. Audio for this is below.
‘Demonstrating formal range and subversiveness, Anphimiadi blends classical images and myths with contemporary techniques, dilating the boundaries of the poetic form. Prayers, recipes, dance lessons, definitions — this accumulation of the unspoken everyday comprises the collection of raw materials in Anphimiadi’s poetic bricolage.’ – Matt Janney, The Calvert Journal (Books from Eastern Europe to look forward to in 2022), on Why I No Longer Write Poems
A two-page review featured in the Autumn 2022 issue of East-West Review. In print only.
'This combination of Georgian poet, translator and Anglophone poet clearly worked extremely well. Jean Sprackland's own poetry ... shares some characteristics with that of Anphimiadi. The experiences of women, the power of memory and the ability to surprise, or even shock, the reader are prominent features of both.' - Michael Pursglove, East-West Review, on Why I No Longer Write Poems
INTERVIEW ON TRAFIKA RADIO EUROPE (USA)
Trafika Radio Europe, Sunday 3 April 2022, 12pm EDT (New York) = 5pm BST (London) = 8pm (Tblisi, Georgia)
UK poet, editor, biographer and translator Fiona Sampson interviewed Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi and one of her translators, Natalia Bukia-Peters, for The Middle Ground series on Trafika Radio Europe. Natalia Bukia-Peters live-interpreted this 47-minute conversation, with Diana speaking in Georgian.
At 22:58 Diana read her poem ‘Reaping Song’ in Georgian, then Natalia read the English translation; at 32:50 they read the poem ‘Reaping Song’; and the interview ended with them reading ‘Autism: Beginning to Speak’ (from 42:54). All the poems are from Diana Anphimiadi’s Why I No Longer Write Poems, translated by Natalia Bukia-Peters and Jean Sprackland.
‘Host Fiona Sampson speaks with Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi and her translator into English, Natalia Bukia-Peters, who serves in this conversation as live interpreter. They read and discuss Diana’s poems and her approach to poetry, culminating in the latest volume, Why I No Longer Write Poems (Bloodaxe Books), and we learn a bit about Georgian language and related themes.’
The interview was livestreamed on 3 April, and is now available as a podcast HERE. Scroll down to 3 April 2022 to hear the episode with Diana Anphimiadi.
Fiona Sampson also reviewed Why I No Longer Write Poems in The Guardian of 5 February 2022: read online here.
US ONLINE POEM FEATURES
'Medusa' from Why I No Longer Write Poems was featured in English and Georgian on Poetry Daily on 15 September 2022 here.
Six poems from the book are featured on the US gallery for new writing and commentary On The Sea Wall here.
Why I No Longer Write Poems is distributed in the US is via Consortium Books.
Diana and her translators previously toured the UK in 2018. See the video below:
Poems from Why I No Longer Write Poems were also featured on the Poetry Translation Centre podcast. Jean Sprackland reads the English and Diana Anphimiadi reads the poems in Georgian.
[14 July 2022]