Work in translation
"The first Welsh poet in fifteen hundred years to make a serious attempt to have her work known outside Wales”
“Literature travels and through translation, Welsh writing can be heard and appreciated in languages other than English which is perhaps the most common language of translation.
When Menna Elfyn published her bilingual selected poems in 1995, Tony Conran called her 'the first Welsh poet in fifteen hundred years to make a serious attempt to have her work known outside Wales'. Her second bilingual volume, Cell Angel, was hailed by the same critic as the most significant collection of Welsh poetry for forty years. The metaphysical energies indicated in Cell Angel find full liberation in this, her third bilingual collection, whose extraordinary range of subjects, breathtaking inventiveness and generosity of vision place Menna Elfyn, effortlessly, among Europe's leading poets.
“Literature travels and through translation, Welsh writing can be heard and appreciated in languages other than English which is perhaps the most common language of translation. I hope this award will offer some form of inspiration to other poets who are trying to write in a minority language,” added Menna whose own work has been translated into around 18 different languages.
Hers is a poetry of daring imaginative leaps, exploring both inner and outer landscapes, taking her exuberant liberties with language, and presenting her translators with formidable challenges. Her questing eye, affectionately critical of of many domestic presumptions, restlessly interrogates horizons that others have ignored or taken as read, from the mutating social landscapes of home to the concrete cliffs of Manhattan or the culinary byways of Vietnam. But wherever she finds herself - and as a reader in demand all over the world, she is the most travelled of all Welsh poets - Menna Elfyn never loses sight of Wales.
Angelo di Cella