2006 PEN Awards for Poetry & Translation

Yesterday PEN announced its 2006 awards. The complete list can be consulted on their website. As I was involved in one of the prizes, it gives me pleasure to announce those specifically related to poetry and translation:

• The $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation is conferred every spring in New York. The award recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the previous 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.

This year’s award goes to Wilson Baldridge for his translation from the French of Recumbents by Michel Deguy (Wesleyan University Press). The finalists for the award are Clayton Eshleman for his translations from the Czech, French, Hungarian, and Spanish in Conductors of the Pit by various authors (Soft Skull Press) and Thomas Meyer for his translation from the Chinese of Daode Jing by Laozi (Flood Editions). The judge for this Award was Pierre Joris.

The PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry was established by a bequest from Hunce Voelcker and will be presented for the seventh time in 2006 to an American poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature. The poet honored by the award is one for whom the exceptional promise seen in earlier work has been fulfilled, and who continues to mature with each successive volume of poetry. The award is given in even-numbered years and carries a stipend of $5,000.

This year’s award will be given to poet Linda Gregg, the author of several collections of poetry, the most recent of which is In the Middle Distance (Graywolf Press). The judges for this year’s award were Michael Hofmann, Timothy Liu, and Vijay Seshadri.

The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation is given every three years to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work. The award was initiated by funds donated by the late Bernard Malamud and by Gay Talese, and has received additional support from the family and friends of Ralph Manheim.

This year’s award will be given to Edith Grossman (here & here)who has translated major Spanish-language texts by authors such as Miguel de Cervantes and Gabriel García Márquez. The award is judged by the PEN Translation Committee.

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