In the four hundred years since Shakespeare's death, the Sonnets have invited imitation, homage, critique, parody and pastiche.
Within the UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature 2016 and global Shakespeare Lives festival the “Sonnet Exchange” project gathered six contemporary UK and Russian poets for a series of events dedicated to translation of contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare sonnets supported by the Scottish Poetry Library and Edwin Morgan Trust.
In September 2016 Scottish poets Stewart Sanderson, Christine De Luca, British poet Jen Hadfield and Russian poets Marina Boroditskaya, Grigory Kruzhkov and Lev Oborin participated in a three day translation workshop in Moscow in Dostoevsky’s Library. Taking Shakespeare's sonnets as a starting point, either thematically or formally, poets came together to work on translations of each other’s work and share ideas on how Shakespeare's poetry can enrich the ways in which poets are writing today. The public readings of the poems, and their translations into both languages, took place in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Six months on, in March 2017, the poets reunited in Scotland to present their final works, along with a trilingual anthology of poems – four from each poet.