The Scots–Español Poetry Translation Exchange is a collaboration between Scottish poet Dorothy Lawrenson (University of St Andrews) and Peruvian poet Carlos Llaza (University of Glasgow). For this collaboration, the two poets translated each other’s work into their own respective languages. The project was supported by a grant from the Sloan Fund at the University of St Andrews. During May and June 2023, the poems and translations were published on this blog. Each poem is accompanied by brief commentary from the poet and the translator, a video recording with bilingual subtitles, and an English translation.
The poems range from the Andean Cordillera to Scotland’s rugged beaches; they look eastward to the North Sea or westward to the Pacific Ocean, as well as entering interior, domestic spaces; they explore activities including building, beekeeping and beachcombing, and they include some tender love lyrics. Additionally, they are concerned with the activities of writing and translation, directly addressing the ‘occupational hazards’ that poets and translators face. The speaker in one of the poems appreciates an old song being set to a new tune, as ‘the unco casts the kent / in a new licht’, and it is our hope that this project will have similarly illuminating effects by bringing together two such diverse perspectives and traditions.