One of the main three days of the Live From Worktown Bolton Poetry Festival in 2014 consisted of a workshop and showcase entitled Found in Translation, the workshop taking place in the Central Library  in the afternoon and the showcase at George’s Gallery in the evening of 25th June. We had gathered together speakers of eleven different languages who had written something in their mother tongue and done a rough English translation. The writing covered a large number of topics in both poetry and prose.

Screen Shot 2015 02 02 at 12.28.36    Initially, the recruitment of these volunteers was difficult and serendipitous but with the intervention of Sylah Asghar, who at that time worked at Bolton Language School, enough students were found. Dave Morgan, who was one of the main organisers of the Festival, engaged a guest poet, Anjum Malik for the evening.

   During the workshop, a group of volunteer coordinators looked at the translations and gave suggestions to the students on how they might be improved. An important principle was established at this workshop that students should be offered a selection of phrases to choose from rather than just being told that x was wrong and should be y. Other volunteers helped out as a makeshift audience so that we could rehearse for the evening. Paul Blackburn showed people how to relax before speaking in public. Students were shown how to use a microphone.

    In the evening an audience of 52 people enjoyed the readings from students in eleven different languages whilst the coordinators read out the students’ translations in English. Certificates were awarded recognising the skills students had learned during the day. After the break, Anjum Malik read us her poems in Urdu and in English.
    A summary of the day can be found on youtube under Writing In Translation.


    It was felt that the day had been one of the high spots of the Festival, so it seemed logical to repeat it in 2015. But the more we thought about it, the more opportunities seemed to exist. James Hartnell set about developing partnerships with agencies in the area. Kasia Niedbala joined as Treasurer, Jude Curtis as Secretary and before long we had a good number of volunteers who were interested in the project.

The Team

Management Committee
Chair: James Hartnell
Secretary: Jude Curtis
Treasurer: Katarzyna Niedbala
Felicia Hsu  Gulnaz Brennan
Sarah Kiernan
Workshops and Showcases
Helen Schilizzi (temporarily in Ecuador)  Margaret Challender  Bhakti Kotecha  Gaye Gerrard  Susie Hartnell
Kathryn Brown  Aneela Tamajal  Amal El-Sheik  Dave Morgan  Brad Wood  Paul Blackburn  Daniela Ciuperca
Megan Hailwood  Rachel Pollitt
Vane Julian  Ali Saleh

Web Design
Paul Blackburn



Amal Latif   Montse Magan   Anna Gillespie   Amal El-Sheikh   Elawar Amin   Aissata Cilla   Susan  Bromley  

 Dominika Malinowska   Nayab Hussain   Aimee Hatakosol   Daniela Ciuperca   Bhakti Kotecha