• www.inkwellwriters.ie

Heléne van der Westhuizen

Location: Berlin


A South African farm girl from the Free State with a Sesotho name, Puleng, which means rain. Reluctant townie turned city girl and international resident in Poland, Ireland and Germany. Lapsed musician. Occasional psychologist. Cookbook compiler. Translator and editor. Insatiably curious. Fascinated by how we become what we become, and how that interacts with the language we use.

Ireland is one of my home countries – probably nearest and dearest because she taught me to write. I had the best teachers at the Irish Writers’ Centre and elsewhere, and I’d be forever grateful to every one of them.

Current project

I’ve been selected as one of ten participants for the multilingual poetry strand of the University of East Anglia’s Summer School for Literary Translations and Creative Writing taking place from 18-22 July. There are ten strands of ten participants each, one of which is multilingual prose, and several specific language strands from Europe and Asia, as well as Japan. A hundred participants were selected from a body of two hundred applications worldwide. https://bit.ly/3RepmsZ

For the course, I prepared translations of the poems of well-known South African poet Antjie Krog. Excited and nervous before a workshop. Most of you probably know the drill.

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