Two people in front of repeating stacked boards. Both wear black and pulling fun face

Primary Investigator

Karen Leeder | Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages | New College

Partner Organisations:

Queen’s Translation Exchange

A series of literary translation and music events with a pan-European trio of outstanding artists: poet-musician Ulrike Almut Sandig (Germany); musician Grigory Semenchuk (Ukraine); and translator Karen Leeder (UK). These events will be coordinated and hosted by the 'Queen's College Translation Exchange' (QTE), a beacon for cross-cultural engagement and learning within the University. 1. Public translation workshop with Sandig and Leeder (Queen's); 2. Translation workshops in two local schools; 3. Public performance by Sandig and Semenchuk (aka poetry techno band LANDSCHAFT) (Queen's).


Literary translation is a form of very close and careful reading, and is uniquely suited to collaborative activities - it makes literature interactive and shareable, and thereby increases its accessibility. This project understands translation as more than just intralingual transformation: Sandig's and Semenchuk's collaboration involves transforming words into music and film. This kind of transformation produces a highly performative form, which particularly appeals to young people. As such, the events will draw in young audiences with little experience of the richness of multilingual culture, and older participants who may be interested in literary culture but have limited access to these international forms. The translation workshops will be hosted by two local state schools, and the audience for the performance will include pupils from those and other local schools. QTE will develop classroom resources for MFL teachers based in part on Leeder's translations of Sandig's poems, 'Grimm' (2018), which reanimates the dark side of Grimms' Tales and uses it as a backdrop for contemporary European concerns: war, migration, the rise of the Right. In this way, pupils and teachers will be engaged in the work of Sandig and Leeder before encountering them in the workshops and performance.


See ‘Voices from the Wings: Poetry, translation and performance on and off the page’ TORCH Big Tent - Live Events!




Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the

future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.