Six Georgian Poets brings us the work of the most outstanding literary representatives of what has been dubbed 'the Gagarin Generation". Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut who died tragically young, was an international celebrity and a hero of the Soviet Bloc. His space journey could be subversively interpreted not as one of the victories in the Cold War competition between two ideologically opposed superpowers, but as a daring breakout towards freedom. This generation of people born in an era of a growing resistance against the strictures of Soviet rule, a generation characterised by challenging the entrenched conformism of thought and action, is represented here by a diverse set of voices, each of which speaks out of an experience both personal and collective, giving us a rare insight into a culture and literature we need to know more about.
The majority of the poems in this volume were translated in two workshops, the first of which was held in September 2014 in Tbilisi, Georgia, supported by the Georgian National Book Centre and the British Council, and the second in March 2015 in Aberystwyth, Wales, supported by Literature Across Frontiers.
The workshop participants were: Alexandra Buchler, translator and director of Literature Across Frontiers; Nia Davies, poet, translator and Editor of Poetry Wales; Adham Smart, poet and translator; Stephen Watts, poet and translator; and Angela Jarman, editor at Arc Publications. The translators initially worked from literal translations supplied by the poets and others, but at both workshops they received help and advice from the playwright and translator, Davit Gabunia, whose contribution was invaluable.
There are other poems included in this volume that were translated by individual translators outside the workshops. One such translator is Donald Rayfield, who was not part of either workshop; Stephen Watts and Adham Smart also completed a number of translations outside the workshop setting. Where this is the case, their names appear under the relevant translations. Poems where individual translators are not named were translated collaboratively by the workshop participants.