Founded in 1996, the $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the current calendar year.
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].
Current Cycle: 2020
Honoring books published in 2019.
Submissions for the 2021 cycle open June 1, 2020.
JUDGES: Michael Eskin, Forrest Gander, Pierre Joris
Featured Winner: Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen
From the judges’ citation: “In jagged, fresh-cut, emotive rhythms, and in a lexicon sourced from science, domestic relations, and literature, Reina María Rodríguez creates a poetry of attentiveness so immediate that no sooner does it express itself, than it is subject to revision and qualification. Through the sensuality of her diction and the abruptive but musical pulse of her syntax, Rodríguez takes up the Wittgensteinian directive to look and see a world that, as the poet puts it, ‘fits into the eyes of the cat.’ The Winter Garden Photograph is as much discursive meditation on memory as it is a riveting embodiment of insight and intuition, and a declaration of love for the great surprising variety of the world. Almost impossibly, the translators negotiate the definitive peculiarities of Rodríguez’s unique phrasing with inspired English versions that neither normalize, dumb-down, nor exoticize the magic of the originals.”
2006 Wilson Baldridge, Recumbents by Michel Deguy (Wesleyan Poetry Series)
2005 Pierre Joris, Lightduress by Paul Celan (Green Integer)
2004 Peter Cole, J’Accuse by Aharon Shabtal (New Directions)
2003 Khaled Mattawa, Without an Alphabet, Without a Face: Selected Poems of Saadi Youssef (Graywolf)
2002 Anne Twitty, Islandia by Maria Negroni (Station Hill)
2001 Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld, Open Closed Open by Yehuda Amicha (Harcourt)
2000 James Brasfield and Oleh Lysheha, The Selected Poems of Oleh Lysheha (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute)
1999 Richard Zenith, Fernando Pessoa & Co (Grove)
1998 Eamon Grennan, Selected Poems by Giacomo Leopardi (Princeton)
1997 Edward Snow, Uncollected Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
1996 Guy Davenport, editor and translator, 7 Greeks (New Directions)