Dunedin poets book translated

By ODT | Posted: Wednesday October 7, 2020

In an unusual twist, Taking My Jacket for a Walk, a recent book by Dunedin poet Peter Olds, has just stepped out in a Spanish translation.

The translator and promoter of this rare initiative is Dr Rogelio Guedea, a Mexican-born poet, crime novelist and academic, who was teaching Spanish at the University of Otago when he encountered Mr Olds and his writing.

Christchurch-born, Mr Olds is a former university Burns Fellow. Taking My Jacket for a Walk was published in 2017.

He has had a total of eight books published, as well as two books of selected poems, including You Fit the Description (Cold Hub Press), published in 2014.

Dr Guedea, who began work at Otago in 2005 and now lives in Wellington, has sought to make New Zealand poetry better known in Mexico, including by editing an anthology in Spanish translation.

Dr Guedea said Mr Olds was an important writer with a "great critical sense of humour" and was "wonderful at capturing the absurdity of life".

His work deserved to be read more widely overseas, he said.

Mr Olds was surprised and pleased with the outcome.

"It’s a good thing that something’s happened and I’ve been a part of it," he said.


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