Mexican Poetry and the Art of Translation


Ancient Mayan design from Mexico.

Young Poets Network is delighted to announce details of a forthcoming poetry competition with the British Council, celebrating Mexican poetry and the art of translation.

Poets aged 25 and under will have the chance to become literary translators, creating an English translation of a never-before translated poem by Pedro Serrano, a celebrated Mexican poet. You don’t even have to speak Spanish – we have literary translator Don Cellini on board to help you out.

The competition is just one of many literary collaborations between the UK and Mexico this year: the London Book Fair 2015 has a special focus on Mexico, and later in the year the UK will be guest of honour at the Guadalajara Book Fair in Mexico. Young Poets Network also recently collaborated with Mexico-based Ofi Press to publish twelve young writers in the April edition of their magazine.

For this challenge we are working with poet Pedro Serrano and literary translator Don Cellini to provide young poets with the tools to become literary translators. Cellini will tell us more about the art of translation, and provide a literal English version of one of Serrano’s poems – a poem which has never before appeared in English. You can use this version (or the original, if you speak Spanish) to create your own poetic translation.

The competition will open on Friday 22 May 2015 and close on Sunday 5 July 2015. It will be open to anyone aged 25 and under from anywhere in the world. Entry is free and you can send in as many poems as you like. Prizes include publication, poetry workshops, books, posters, notebooks and other poetry goodies.

Teachers – we will be creating a free downloadable lesson plan to support the competition. Please email [email protected] if you would like to be sent the lesson plan or added to our education mailing list. Class sets of entries will be enthusiastically received and prizes include a poetry workshop for the school of the winning poet.

Check back in May for more details, or sign up to Young Poets Network for updates!


Competition partners:


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Published April, 2015

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