Banipal Translation Prize Announces 2021’s Judges, Entries

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation today announced the judges and entries for their 2021 prize:

This year’s four judges are translator-scholar Roger Allen, a previous winner of the Banipal prize; publisher Rosemarie Hudson; scholar and educator Ronak Husni; and culture-sector consultant Caroline McCormick.

In the sixteenth year of the prize, Banipal received 15 entries, including nine novels, a short-story collection, a cross-genre work, and four poetry collections — two of them work by Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish. 

Several entrants have previously won or been shortlisted for the prize, including: Marilyn Booth (shortlisted in 2019 for her translation of Celestial Bodies and runner-up in 2007 for Thieves in Retirement); Jonathan Wright, (shortlisted in 2019 for Jokes for the Gunman and in 2018 for Frankenstein in Baghdad, winner in 2016 for The Bamboo Stalk, commended in 2015 for Land of No Rain, and co-winner in 2013 for Azazeel); Robin Moger (winner in 2017 for The Book of Safety); Kareem James Abu-Zeid (runner-up in 2010 for Cities Without Palms); and Nancy Roberts (commended in 2008 for The Man from Bashmour).

  • Laila by Fadi Zaghmout, translated by Hajer Almosleh (Signal 8 Press)
  • Embrace by Najwan Darwish, translated by Atef Alshaer and Paul Batchelor (Poetry Translation Centre)
  • My First and Only Love by Sahar Khalifeh, translated by Aida Bamia (Hoopoe Fiction)
  • Voices of the Lost by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth (Oneworld)
  • The Book of Sleep by Haytham al-Wardany, translated by Robin Moger (Seagull Books)
  • The Slave Yards: A Novel by Najwa Bin Shatwan, translated by Nancy Roberts (Syracuse University Press)
  • God 99 by Hassam Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press)

 The 2021 shortlist is set to be announced in November 2021, with a winner of the £3,000 prize announced in January 2022.