guerilla bitchcraft by Adelaide Ivánova

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'guerilla bitchcraft' was the first poem by Adelaide Ivánova that the Poetry Translation Centre translated at a workshop with Francisco Vilhena and Clare Pollard in 2017.

The PTC workshop was dazzled by Ivánova’s breadth of reference, lurching between the personal and political. One moment she jokes about weed and star-signs, the next she’s addressing rape, colonialism and Zika. It’s not often in a poetry workshop you have to read a whole Nirvana lyric (turns out ‘Polly’ is not really about a parrot). And how to translate the ‘piriguetismo’ of the title? Francisco Vilhena, who provided the bridge translation, said it meant something like ‘bitchism’, but had more a celebratory charge (a woman saying it to another woman was being positive). Anne Macaulay made a very convincing case for ‘bitchismo’ but in the end we settled on Francisco’s suggestion of ‘bitchcraft’ as it sounded more empowered and cunning!

The poem is read in Portuguese and English by Adelaide herself.

This is part of our new rebranded weekly release: the Dual Poetry Podcast, one poem in two languages from the Poetry Translation Centre. As ever we will be releasing a translated poem each week.

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