Huge thanks to everyone who has pledged their support for our Poetry of the Holocaust project. We have now exceeded the target! Please be assured that every extra pound pledged will be used to promote the book, to host readings and to facilitate work shops in schools and colleges. Therefore, with six days to go, any further support will help us reach as wide an audience as possible.
We will be contacting everyone who has pledged money shortly, to confirm details for shipping the rewards.
POETRY OF THE HOLOCAUST is a ground-breaking anthology of translated poetry written during, or about, the Holocaust. Featuring the work of over 90 poets writing in 20 languages, this multilingual anthology includes many poems translated into English for the very first time.
For over 50 years, Arc Publications has been introducing to the English-speaking world poetic voices in translation from around the globe, writers who are often highly-respected in their country of birth, but little known further afield. What readers expect from Arc is the unusual, the unexpected, the innovatory – books that other publishers aren’t publishing – and this anthology is one such book.
The idea for the anthology arose from a research project ‘Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust’ (funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council) carried out by Professor Jean Boase-Beier, with Dr Marian de Vooght, at the University of East Anglia. They wanted to find out who had written poetry during, or about, the Holocaust, why they had done so, what languages they had written in, and how much Holocaust poetry had been translated. They also wanted to know more about the importance of such poetry, for its writers and for its readers. And they wanted to consider specific problems of its translation.
To compile an anthology that draws together poems that accurately represent the findings of this research project is both an arduous and extremely detailed undertaking, which the Editors, Jean Boase-Beier and Marian de Vooght, have carried out with great sensitivity and dedication.
To publish such an anthology has financial implications that we, a small independent not-for-profit press, can’t take on ourselves. This is where you come in. With your support, we can face this challenge with confidence. We can produce a book that not only gives readers access to poetry of the Holocaust that has not previously been published in English, but that will also be a lasting testament to the memory of those who suffered so terribly as a result of the Holocaust, and to their descendants.
POETRY OF THE HOLOCAUST
Part I – At the Beginning
The poems in this section reveal fear and despair at the signs that something terrible was coming. Even before the Nazis came to power in 1933, there was concrete and visible discrimination against Jews and other groups of people. This anthology will be the only one so far to contain poems from well before the start of the Second World War.
Part II – Life in Ghettos, Camps and the Outside World
This section contains poems that show the horror of persecution in the form of forced labour, confinement in ghettos, imprisonment, deportation to camps, abuse, starvation and murder. Many poems tell of the extreme circumstances of being dreadfully weakened by hunger, disease and abuse in concentration camps, while others were literally written on the verge of collapse.
Part III – Life Afterwards
The poems in this section tell of the lasting trauma of the Holocaust, as recorded by survivors, family members and other poets. The time after the Holocaust is still ongoing, and Holocaust poetry continues, and will continue, to be written not only as long as there are survivors, but as long as there are poets who think about the victims with empathy. This is the longest section, and has poems from 1946 onwards, the most recent poems in the anthology being just a few years old.
Our target – £3,000 – is the absolute minimum we need in order to produce and print this anthology. However, it leaves nothing for marketing and promotion or events. If we exceed our goal, we will be able to give this book the platform it deserves. We will not only be able to advertise it widely, but also to dedicate more time to marketing – sending the obligatory copies to reviewers, submitting copies of the book for prizes, organising events, especially in schools and colleges, at which the Editors, and also translators, can read from the anthology and discuss some of the issues that make translating Holocaust poetry different from translating other poetry. The work of the publisher continues long after publication, and any pledges we receive beyond our minimum goal are essential in allowing us to continue this important work.
Risks and challenges
We are a small, independent publisher, wholly reliant on Arts Council funding. Without your support, we could not contemplate taking on a project of this size and lasting importance.
If we secure the funds we need from this Kickstarter campaign, however, there will be nothing to stop us. We will have the privilege of publishing a unique anthology, co-edited by one of the most highly-regarded authorities on the translation of Holocaust poetry in the world, translated into English by a cohort of first-class translators. It is a volume of poems written from the heart, both by victims of the Holocaust and by those who take their part, poems that will make us think, reflect, perhaps understand what we didn’t understand before. It is possibly a volume that will change our lives.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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