“FREESPEAK” – A PEN Melbourne Project in collaboration with IFLIT and ‘The Light In Winter’

Cross cultural poetry/translation/music salon at Beer Deluxe upstairs, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2 pm Saturday 16th June 2012. This is a FREE EVENT.

A celebration of cultural diversity bringing together local non-English-speaking-background poets, their translators and musicians to promote poetry, translation and its publishing.

Cross-translations:  Hidayet Ceylan (Turkish) & Matt Hetherington (English);

Nguyen Tien Hoang [Thường Quán] (Vietnamese) & Gig Ryan (English);

Anne Talvez & Jennifer Harrison (French & English): read by Christine Matthieu (French).

The following  poets will include musical interpretations as well as translations:

Thanh Van Le & composer/musicians (Vietnamese & English); Rochelle D’silva (Hindi & English – mother tongue, Konkani); Lauren Williams (Spanish & English); Ajak Kwai (Dinka/ English).

  This event kindly sponsored by CAL (Copyright Agency Limited)



 Alex Skovron & Jacques Rancourt with Judith Rodriguez

 A PEN Melbourne Project in collaboration with IFLIT, The Light In Winter and the Paris-based Franco-anglais Poetry Festival.

ACMI Studio 1, Federation Square, Saturday 16th June 2012 at 6pm 

PEN Melbourne vice-president and poet, Judith Rodriguez, interviews Melbourne poet Alex Skovron and his French translator and poet Jacques Rancourt: live internet-link to the Paris Franco-anglais Poetry Festival. Poetry readings in English and French. FREE EVENT.

Sponsored by PEN Melbourne & hosted by PEN committee member Elaine Lewis. 


Authors and artists contributing for the

Japanese Presentation at the

International Festival of Literature Ideas in Translation 2012: on Sunday 17th June

  • Part I (40 min)


Ryoko Adachi and Andrew McKay, currently adjunct fellows of the Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University, co-authored Shadows of War and co-edited Echoes of War.

Ryoko Adachi has long experience as a journalist and author. As a foreign correspondent in Australia she has written for Japanese media including The Japan Times and Nichigo Press. She authored My Australia – Australia Through  A Woman’s Eyes and translated Full Fathom Five by Mary Albertus Bain – both published in Japan. Her weekly program, Ryoko’s Letter From Australia, was broadcasted for years on Radio Australia.

Andrew McKay is a veteran journalist, working as a columnist in the Canberra Press Gallery, then as a foreign correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald in London. He worked for Murdoch publications in New York as the first Australian journalist on the New York Post and then covered North and South America for the News Ltd Bureau. Returning to Australia he became News Editor and then Victorian Editor of The Australian. He has written numerous non-fiction books and TV scripts.


Authors researched Shadows of War – a unique and provocative book which records the thoughts and opinions of Australians involved in the fight against the Japanese during the Second World War.

As the 60th anniversary of that war approached, the authors realized that while Australia-Japan relations were very good in trades and cultural and human exchanges there was still an anti-Japanese sentiment in Australia caused by the war. They believed strongly that for better relations between the two countries shadows of the war should not be allowed to linger. And that Japanese people must understand about the shadows.

They collected more than 200 responses from Australians whose lives were influenced by the war: ex-POWs of Japan, ex-servicemen and women who fought Japan and their families. (They asked them about their wartime experiences, their feelings and opinions about Japan and the Japanese both during the war and just after the war. Also their current feelings and views and how these might have changed. Or how they have not changed.)

And here is an excerpt from the book showing the emotion it uncovered.


Shadows of War  from P.9-Long Way from Kokoda …to p.11 …award of the Victoria Cross says:

Yoko Pinkerton authored a few reference books and textbooks for teaching Japanese language to English speakers.  She co-authored the Textbook for Interpreting Formal Speech which enjoyed its 5th reprinting in 2010.  Her memoir Sharing Two Cultures – Japan and Australia was published both in Japanese (2009) and English (2011).  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from a university in Tokyo, and a Master’s degree in comparative literature (English and Japanese poetic theories) from Monash University.  She worked as an interpreter and translator in Tokyo before she came to Australia in 1965 to do postgraduate study.  She was a lecturer/coordinator for Postgraduate Japanese/English Interpreting and Translating Course at Monash University.

Rumi Komonz (小紋寿ルミ)writes her historical fiction Kicho & Nobunaga for a Japanese writers’ magazine, while her English version has already been published. She holds BA Gakushuin, Dip Ed Monash and LLB La Trobe. As a law student, she had publications in the areas of equality and criminal law, particularly in issues of non-English speaking women in domestic violence. She was one of the finalists for the 7th Bungeishichoo Literature award 2010.


  • Part II (30 min)

Amelia Fielden is an Australian poet with her MA in Japanese Literature. She has translated sixteen collections of the work of contemporary Japanese women poets. In 2007, she was awarded the Donald Keene Prize for Translation of Japanese Literature by Columbia University, USA for Ferris Wheel: 101 Modern and Contemporary Japanese Tanka (Cheng & Tsui, Boston). Amelia’s own tanka have been widely published in journals and anthologies and awarded internationally. Six collections of her original poetry have appeared between 2002 and 2010, the most recent being Banbles, bangles & Beads (2007) and Light on Water (2010). Weaver Birds and Words Flower, collections of bilingual tanka created by Amelia and Japanese born Canberra poet, Saeko Ogi were published in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Saeko Ogi, a graduate of Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, came to Australia in 1972 to teach Japanese language in Canberra. Retiring after 25 years in teaching, she took up tanka and water colour painting. Currently, she is a member of Araragi-ha Tanka-kai in Japan. Since 2002, she has been involved in the translation of tanka, in association with Amelia Fielden.

Japanese Poetry – haiku, tanka and translations

Lyn Reeves is a Tasmanian writer whose poetry, stories and haiku have been published widely in journals and anthologies throughout Australia and overseas. In 1999, Lyn Reeves was runner up in the Gwen Harwood Memorial Poetry Prize, sponsored by Island Magazine. The Literature Board of the Australia Council awarded her a grant in 2002 to develop a collection of poetry, and she was also awarded a Varuna Fellowship for May, 2002. In October 2002, Lyn was writer-in-residence at St. Helens (through an award granted by the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre’s Tasmania – Island of residencies).

Sue Stanford’s  The Neon City, a collection of her haiku was published in 2008. Sue is enrolled at Monash University in a PhD on haiku traditions. Sue has translated Japanese haiku by witnesses of Hiroshima and the bombing of Tokyo. She is associated with the organisation Japanese for Peace. She has also won prizes for her haiku, here and in Japan, including the Hobo Haiku Competition and the Melbourne Poet’s Union National Poetry Competition. Her previous collection Opal was published in 2006.

Sofia Chapman is a playwright and poet, currently Cafe Poet at Open Studio, Northcote, through Australian Poetry. She studied Modern Languages at University in Tasmania and is still avid to travel and learn new languages and her plays feature multilingual characters. Her poems have been published in Prelude and Inscribe, and her plays include The Anorexic Chef and the Accidental Death of an Accordionist. Her epic The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse  will run at Carlton Courthouse this Fringe Festival.

Rebecca Kylie Law is an Australian poet. She holds a Masters Degree in Poetry from The University of Melbourne, a Post-graduate Diploma in English Literature (UOM), a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing(UOM) and a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art(RMIT). Her poetry has been published in several literary journals and online (internationally: 2012). She will undertake two residencies as a poet in Melbourne and Italy this year, 2012; and her first collection of poetry will be released in August, 2012 by Picaro Press.

  • Part III (30 min)

Japanese Songs

Hiroko Sugimoto is the current conductor of Yukari Echo Japanese Women’s Choir.  She is a graduate of Ueno Gakuen Music University, majoring in vocals. Hiroko’s charity concert featuring opera arias from Madam Butterfly, Samson et Dalila and others, in November 2011 was supported by catholic community in Melbourne and Caritas Australia. She raised AU$9,000 including the government’s contributions, which helped the children of Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia through Caritas-Urgent East African Appeal.

Yukari Echo Japanese Women’s Choir is the only choral group which enjoys the support of the Japanese Society and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne. They regularly visit aged care facilities to entertain elderly residents. They have also performed at the BMW Edge, Federation Square Stage, the Concert Hall, the Art Gallery and various charity and cultural events. Yukari Echo 30th Anniversary Help Japan Charity Concert in September 2011 raised over AU$4,500 to donate to the Soma City Earthquake Disaster Orphan Scholarship Fund.


One thought on “Highlights

  1. Hi !
    I will be back at Federation Square with ANE Bilingual Haiku Poetry and Japanese Singers, this year. Please send in your best and brief English haiku, so we can start translating them.

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