Sasha Dugdale

Sasha Dugdale

Sasha Dugdale has published five collections of poems with Carcanet, most recently Deformations in 2020 which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Derek Walcott Prize. Deformations includes two large-scale works related in their preoccupation with biographical and mythical narrative. 'Welfare Handbook' explores the life and art of Eric Gill, the well-known English letter cutter, sculptor and cultural figure, who is known to have sexually abused his daughters. The poem draws on material from Gill's letters, diaries, notes and essays as part of a lyrical exploration of the conjunction between aesthetics, subjectivity and violence. 'Pitysad' is a series of simultaneously occurring fragments composed around themes and characters from Homer's Odyssey. It considers how trauma is disguised and deformed through myth and art. Acting as a bridge between these two works is a series of individual poems on the creation and destruction of cultural and mythical conventions.

In 2016 Sasha won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem for her long poem ‘Joy’, a monologue spoken by William Blake’s widow, Catherine, in which she meditates on the nature of grief and loss in an artistic and creative partnership. The piece was read by actor Linda Bassett at Ledbury and Winchester Poetry Festivals. Sasha Dugdale is a translator of poetry, plays and prose. Her translations of Russian new drama have been staged in theatres in the UK and US, including the Royal Court and Royal Shakespeare Company. Her translations of contemporary Russian women poets, including Elena Shvarts, are published by Bloodaxe Books. The most recent of these, War of the Beasts and the Animals, by Maria Stepanova was published in 2021 and is a Poetry Book Society Translation Choice, as well as winning a PEN Translates Award. Her prose translation of In Memory of Memory (Fitzcarraldo Editions), also by Maria Stepanova, was shortlisted for the International Booker in 2021. Dugdale is former editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and poet-in-residence at St John’s College, Cambridge (2018-2021).

Twitter @SashaDugdale

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