Poetry editor

 Full details 

The Poetry Translation Centre is seeking a freelance Editor to join our small and dynamic team. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with experience of editing poetry and/or literature in translation, an international outlook and an entrepreneurial spirit. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from diaspora heritage backgrounds.

About the PTC

The Poetry Translation Centre was established by the poet Sarah Maguire in 2004, to introduce new audiences to leading poets from around the world. We see translating poetry as an act of welcome. Central to our mission is celebrating the diverse communities who live in the UK by working with them to champion poetries from their home-cultures.

We publish award-winning books, organise poetry tours and deliver hands-on translation workshops that are open and inclusive to all. We offer free online resources including a popular dual-language poetry podcast and an extensive web archive of poems in translation. Our UNDERTOW programme supports the development of young poets and translators, while the biennial Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation, first awarded in 2020, spotlights the very best books in the field of poetry translation.

More information about the PTC can be found here: https://poetrytranslation.org.

Our Publishing Programme

In 2019 the PTC launched the World Poet Series, a beautiful series of pocket-sized books in dual-language editions. These books make available to an English-language audience some of the most exciting contemporary voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Poets we have published include Diana Bellessi, Mona Kareem, Yu Yoyo and Maxamed Ibraahin Warsame ‘Hadraawi’.

We publish 2–3 World Poet Series titles per year. We also publish full-length single-author collections under our own imprint (one per year), and in March 2024 we published our first non-fiction title, Living in Language.

The Role

We are seeking a freelance Editor to commission, edit and produce our books, seeing them through from initial idea to publication. You will shape the PTC’s list, ensuring it continues to showcase exceptional contemporary poetry from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. You will work closely with the PTC’s Publishing Manager, feeding in to sales and promotion plans, and you will seek out opportunities for our poets e.g. placing their poems in magazines. You will lead on funding applications for translation grants and pursue other partnerships as required to support the publications programme.

You will be joining us at an exciting time, as we celebrate 20 years of the PTC and think ahead to the next chapter of our organisation and our publishing.

The position is freelance, approximately 1.5 days per week (0.3 Full Time Equivalent or FTE), and can be done remotely from within the UK. You would need to be able to travel to the PTC’s office at the Albany art centre in Deptford, south London for regular meetings with the rest of the team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Commission poets, translators and afterword contributors for the World Poet Series (2–3 titles per year)

  • Commission poets and translators for the PTC’s single-author collections (1 title per year)

  • Commission further titles for the PTC’s non-fiction list

  • Work with the poets and translators to edit their texts

  • Manage the editorial and production process of all titles from start to finish including scheduling, budgeting, typesetting and cover design

  • Liaise with freelancers and suppliers

  • Work together with the Publishing Manager and Marketing and Communications Manager to develop the audience/readership for PTC books: contribute sales and PR ideas for individual titles; provide sales/marketing information/assets as needed and in a timely fashion

  • Seek out new opportunities for PTC poets including placing poems in magazines

  • Submit funding applications related to PTC publications; contribute to other bids as appropriate

  • Contribute to other areas of the PTC’s artistic programme as appropriate

  • Contribute to project evaluation and reporting to funders

Person Specification


  • Up-to-date knowledge of UK poetries and poetics

  • Understanding of and passion for translation

  • Respect for and openness to diverse literary traditions

  • Relevant experience in editing

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

  • Experience of budget management

  • Entrepreneurial self-starter who can work independently and flexibly in a small team


  • Experience of working for an arts organisation or charity

  • Experience of writing or contributing to fundraising bids

  • Experience of literary translation

  • Experience with Adobe InDesign, MS Office applications, Zoom, Slack and Google Drive


Salary: £32–35,000 pro rata depending on experience

Hours: 10.5 hours (1.5 days) per week

Location: Remote, or at the Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG

Reporting to: Director (0.6 FTE)

Working alongside: Publishing Manager (0.5 FTE) and Marketing and Communications Manager (0.6 FTE)

Contract terms: Freelance, with possibility of future permanent contract depending on statutory funding

To Apply: Please send a CV and covering letter to erica@poetrytranslation.org. Please put ‘Application – Editor’ in the subject heading of your email.

Applicants must have the right to work in the UK, and be able to travel to Deptford for regular meetings with the rest of the team.

After sending your application, please help us by completing our anonymous diversity monitoring form. We aim to reach a wide pool of candidates with our job postings, including people from communities under-represented in the arts, and we use the statistical information from this form to hold ourselves accountable. Thank you.

Deadline: 5pm Wednesday 12th June 2024

Zoom interviews: Week commencing 25th June 2024 


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