Word Express began in May 2009 when a network of organisations, magazines and individuals were consulted and brought together. Authors and their poetry, short prose and essays were selected and suitable translators identified.
In August 2009 translation into all the languages of the project began, preparing the participating authors’ texts for readings and publication. All texts are translated from the original language, but where translators between the languages of the project are not available, translations were made via a bridge language and in consultation with the author. The texts of all the writers are now published in print and online.
In October and Novemeber 2009 three train journeys took place through the Balkans to Istanbul. A growing group of authors and tranlatros took part in readings and debates. They then began translating and creating new work.
All three groups converged in Istanbul and spent 5 days at the Istanbul Tanpinar Literature Festival and Istanbul Book Fair. The events were broadcast on the internet.
In November and December 2009, the authors participating in the journey started work on a piece of writing inspired by their experiences. And in early 2010, these texts are were translated and will be published later in the year, to be launched at an event taking place in Istanbul as part of the 2010 European City of Culture.
After an evaluation of the project in Summer 2010, further joint activities will be organised and a final publication will be produced in English
'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.
Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.
At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.