The $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation is conferred every year in New York. The award recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the current calendar year, and is judged by three translators and/or writers of poetry appointed by the PEN Translation Committee. The award was made possible originally by a bequest from the late translator and PEN member Rae Dalven, and has received current support from The Kaplen Foundation.

The PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, established in 1996, complements the PEN Translation Prize, which was founded in 1963 through the efforts of the PEN Translation Committee, and was the first American award to honor the art of the literary translator.

All winners and finalists for this award are eligible to receive PEN America’s official winner or finalist seal. If you are a publisher of a shortlisted or winning book for this award and are interested in obtaining PEN’s award seal, please write to [email protected].

Click to view past winners of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation »

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2018 Awards

Submissions for 2018 Awards
Submissions for the 2018 awards cycle will open on June 1, 2017.

Who is eligible

  • PEN will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents; translators/authors may not submit their own book for this award. 
  • Although all eligible books must have been published in the United States, translators may be of any nationality; U.S. residency or citizenship is not required.
  • Eligible books must have been published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Books published after the August 15, 2017 submission deadline may be submitted as galleys.
  • Self-published books and reprints are not eligible.
  • Retranslations are ineligible, unless the work can be said to provide a significant revision of the original translations.
  • Books with more than two translators are not eligible.
  • If you submit a book for this award, you may not submit it for any additional PEN America awards. Please note that the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Hemingway Awards are not considered PEN America awards.

How to apply

1.  Please download the Declaration of Eligibility Here. Complete all fields and have a company executive sign in order to confirm the book’s eligibility. If eligible, please upload this form to your online application.

2. When submissions open for this award, a link to its online submission form will appear here. Each submission is $75.* If you would like to pay by check, please click the CHECK option at checkout. Checks should be made out to PEN America. Please also submit a verified email address on the submission form; your order cannot be processed without an email address, as this info will be used to later contact you regarding the shipments of your submission. Please note that submission fees are not refundable.

3. Mail one copy of the candidate’s book to the address below between June 1 and August 15, 2017. Please note that we do accept galleys and bound manuscripts:

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation
PEN America
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012

4. Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility by PEN, you will be contacted by [email protected] before the end of the year and asked to ship one copy of the book to each of our three awards judges. Please add [email protected] to your safe sender list.

* Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $4 million. In order to have your fees waived, please have a company official write a letter on company letterhead stating that your press’ annual net sales are less than $4 million. Please send this letter as an attachment (.doc or .pdf) to [email protected]. Once received, you will be provided with a coupon code to use at check-out in order to have your submission fees waived. One fee waiver may be used for all 2018 PEN Awards; you do not need to submit a separate fee waiver for each award.