2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

Winner

Sawako Nakayasu for The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books) Read an excerpt »

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 a single translator 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.

From the Judges' Citation

The first comprehensive English-language collection of this major Japanese modernist’s work, The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa is a substantive contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century Japanese poetry, and indeed global modernist poetics. Nakayasu’s formidable translations capture the verbal kinetics and striking imagery of Sagawa’s poetry without sacrificing its clarity and economy. Sagawa’s audacious voice is at once world-weary and eerily contemporary, surreal in its metaphoric leaps yet precise in its confrontation with the real. There is death and decay here, but also a beautiful urgency, what Sagawa calls in the aptly titled “The City Possessed” a desire “To arouse, anticipate, and hope for / A building, grand with memories / Atop every other ruined thing.” Nakayasu’s compelling introduction discusses Sagawa’s all-too-brief life and the resonance of her work, while engaging complex questions of gender and form in Japanese poetry, the East-West politics of modernism and the avant-gardes, and translation in a multilingual context."

Shortlist

The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández
Translated from the Spanish by Anthony Geist
Swan Isle Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Late Poems of Wang An-shih
Translated from the Chinese by David Hinton
New Directions
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas
Translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan
Phoneme Media
Amazon | Indie Bound

I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky
Translated from the Russian by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Amazon
 

The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa
Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu
Canarium Books
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Longlist

The Country of Planks by Raúl Zurita
Translated from the Spanish by Daniel Borzutzky
Action Books
Amazon | Indie Bound

Oxen Rage by Juan Gelman
Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Rose Bradford
co-im-press
Amazon

The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández
Translated from the Spanish by Anthony Geist
Swan Isle Press
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Late Poems of Wang An-shih
Translated from the Chinese by David Hinton
New Directions
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Twelve Stations by Tomasz Różycki
Translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
Zephyr Press
Amazon | Indie Bound

Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas
Translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan
Phoneme Media
Amazon | Indie Bound

I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky
Translated from the Russian by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Amazon
 

The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa
Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu
Canarium Books
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Silvina Ocampo
Translated from the Spanish by Jason Weiss
New York Review Books Poets
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Uyghurland, the Furthest Exile by Ahmatjan Osman
Translated from the Uyghur and Arabic by Jeffrey Yang with the author
Phoneme Media
Amazon | Indie Bound

2016 Judge

Urayoán Noel is a poet, critic, translator, performer, and assistant professor of English and Spanish at New York University. A former CantoMundo and Ford Foundation fellow, his books include the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (University of Iowa Press, 2014), winner of the LASA-Latino Studies Book Award, and several collections of poetry in English and Spanish, most recently Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press, 2015). Noel's bilingual edition of the poetry of Pablo de Rokha is forthcoming from Shearsman Books.

 

Past Winners

Guy Davenport, Edward Snow, Eamonn Grennan, Richard Zenith, James Brasfield, Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld, Ian Fairley, Khaled Mattawa, Peter Cole, Pierre Joris, Wilson Baldridge, David Hinton, Rosmarie Waldrop, Marilyn Hacker, Anne Carson, Jen Hofer, Molly Weigel, Karen Emmerich and Edmund Keeley, and Eliza Griswold.

Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.

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