This year is the 25th anniversary of ‘Refugee Week’, a celebration of ‘the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary’. In June, to join in with these celebrations, students from Farnborough and Tomlinscote School translated Ukrainian poetry in a workshop led by the poet Cheryl Moskowitz as part of the Stephen Spender Trust Ukrainian Spotlight competition.
Cheryl, a published poet, novelist and translator, gave the students a choice of poems to translate as well as a glossary of the words in the poems and led a discussion about the various stylistics choices made by a translator. A firm favourite with the students was the poem ’Mama’, which presents a mother’s last words to her son as he is going to war. The poem was written in 2022 by Artur Dron, an upcoming poet in his twenties who is now defending Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian armed forces.
As well as providing them with an opportunity to experiment creatively with language, the workshop introduced the students to the rich culture of their Ukrainian peers who study alongside them at school and College. Thank you to Cheryl for sharing her knowledge and expertise with us.