This site uses cookies to provide a better experience. Continuing navigation accept the use of cookies by us OK

Italian Inspirations: Jamie McKendrick on translating Dante



Italian Inspirations: Jamie McKendrick on translating Dante

Since the first translation into English of the Commedia in 1802, Dante’s poem, especially the first canticle, Inferno, has enjoyed (or suffered from) an enormous number of English translations in a variety of forms from terza rima to blank verse. Jamie McKendrick in conversation with Boyd Tonkin will consider what elements of Dante's poem most resist or lend themselves to translation.

"Italian Inspirations" is a series of eight encounters in which a prominent British or UK-based author talks about an Italian writer – either classic or contemporary – whose work they especially admire. Curated and moderated by Boyd Tonkin, each event will take the shape of an informal conversation about the ways in which writers read, and respond to, their great precursors or their distinguished contemporaries.

After Hanif Kureishi, Sarah Dunant, Lisa Appignanesi, Aamer Hussein and Ben Okri, guest of the sixth encounter will be Jamie McKendrick, talking about translating Dante.

Next events will follow on Wednesdays 4th and 18th October.


Jamie McKendrick has written six books of poems, the most recent, Out There, won the Hawthornden Prize. He has translated the six books of Giorgio Bassani’s Il romanzo di Ferrara as well as a number of Italian poets.

Boyd Tonkin is literary critic for the Financial Times, Economist and Spectator, and former literary editor of The Independent. He is a special advisor to the Booker International Prize for which he was also chair of the judges in the 2016.



Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Time: From 7:00 pm To 9:00 pm

Organized by : ICI London

Entry : Free


ICI London