Otata, The Temples and The Three Cities

I have been lucky to have been travelling quite a bit lately – I am actually writing this from the Dostoevsky Library in Moscow where, thanks to the British Council and the Edwin Morgan Trust, I am facilitating a translation workshop between three Scottish poets and three Russian poets. 

This trip follows close on the heels of a journey to Malta to attend (as an observer) the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2016.  It is a wonderful festival where writers are brought together from all around the Mediterranean and beyond, and spend a week translating one another’s poetry.  They then present their poems and the new translations in an extraordinary fort by the sea.  I was invited on a tour of the city which included ancient Stone Age temples, a typical Matlese village and Vittoriosa, one of the fortifified Three Cities.   Inspired by the words of our brilliant tour guide, John Neville Ebejer, I wrote a short sequence of haiku that has just been published on John Martone’s blog Otata, along with a collection of brilliant work from UK poets including John Phillips, David Miller, Erica Van Horn, Simon Cutts, Thomas A. Clark, Alec Finlay, Lila Matsumoto, Malcolm Ritchie, Julie Johnstone, Gerry Loose and Ian Storr, which you can see here

 Hope you enjoy!

By jlwpoetry

Books by JL Williams include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016), After Economy (Shearsman, 2017) and Origin (Shearsman, 2022). Published widely in journals, her poetry has been translated into numerous languages. She has read at international literature festivals and venues in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Cyprus, Canada, Hungary, Romania, Montenegro and the US. She wrote the libretto for the opera Snow which debuted in London in 2017, was awarded a bursary to develop a new opera with composer Samantha Fernando at the Royal Opera House and was a librettist for the award-winning 2020 covid-response Episodes project by The Opera Story. Williams curates writing events and creates workshops and professional development activities for poets. She is hopeful about the simple and mysterious power of poetry that allows us to know ourselves, each other and the world more deeply.

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