Sasha Dugdale

Sasha Dugdale is a poet, translator and editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and of the recent MPT anthology of translated poetry Centres of Cataclysm (Bloodaxe). Her most recent collection of translated poetry is Birdsong on the Seabed by Elena Shvarts (Bloodaxe), a PBS Recommended Translation. She also translates plays from Russian for production, and her translations have been broadcast on BBC Radio, and performed at the Royal Court and RSC. Her most recent collection of poetry was Red House (Carcanet, 2011) and in 2016 she won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

Photo: Paul King


2017 Festival & Exhibitions Launch »

Our special guest launches the festival with a taster of poetry and music

Wed 1 March | 18:30 - 19:10 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

The StAnza Lecture: The Beasts & The Animals »

Translation, language and war: Sasha Dugdale’s lecture for 2017

Thu 2 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Five O’Clock Verses »

Reading: Sasha Dugdale, Aurélia Lassaque

Fri 3 March | 17:00 - 18:00 | £6.00/£4.00 | Parliament Hall, South Street



Your jizz, little gull, is the traveller’s
jizz, the wanderer, who sees the black, flecked ocean
barren like the steppe, and drops to feel the cut of its
rough coat, sail boat-like in the dizzying swell
and lift again, casual as the inhabitant of a planet poisonous to man.
No doubt you might have hung around
but all the accommodation offered to you was the white tenement
blasted with guano, crumbling with the chalk’s sickness
the clamour of children from the playground in the yard.
Those wings, tipped with ink, as if you had signed the dotted line
With one, signed up to country and nation and place –
          then in an instant turned mid-air
                      and dipped the other wing in the bottle
to run your signature through. Not citizen! Not patriot! Not I –
from now on the expanse and the blackness will be my place,
amongst you I will make no home, only a perch
as fishermen perched on the edge of a hostile continent,
so the kittiwake will perch, briefly, all the better to fear
You – the inland, the citizen.


Sasha Dugdale

From Birdbook: Saltwater and Shore (Sidekick Books, 2016)