The Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation, in association with the Guardian, will be closed to entries after May 27:
This £1,000 prize is for a single poem, so anyone might enter. But there’s an entrance fee of £7, so one ought to be certain it’s a pretty good poem. Unless you’re under 18, in which case you don’t have to pay. There are three categories: open (19+), 18 and under, and 14 and under.
Note that you must be a UK citizen or resident in order to enter.
Each entry must comprise the translation, original, and the translator’s commentary. The commentary, which is to be fewer than 300 words, should cover:
- “Your reason for translating this particular poem
- “Problems encountered in translating between the language of the original and English
- “Problems encountered in translating the poem you have chosen
- “Your approach to the poem. For example, if the original is in a particular form — rhyme or a regular metre — have you or have you not attempted to preserve that form in English?”
The 2016 judges are Katie Gramich, Sean O’Brien, and Stephen Romer.
Last year, Allen Prowle won the prize, but then withdrew his poems and returned the prize money after accusations of plagiarism. (So don’t do that.) Other previous winners include Karen Leeder, Childhood in the Diorama by Durs Grünbein (German); Naomi Ackerman, from The Iliad, Book 24 by Homer (Ancient Greek); Andrew Wynn Owen, from The Whale anon (Anglo-Saxon); and Amelia Penny, ‘The Seafarer’ Anonymous (Anglo-Saxon).
No reason one couldn’t translate a classical Arabic poem afresh.
The winner and runners-up will be announced in November.