Press release: 2 August 2005

The Shortlist for the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation 2005 announced!

The Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation was founded by the Poetry Society and the Ratiu Foundation UK to highlight the wealth of excellent poetry translations available.

The prize is named after Corneliu M Popescu who translated the work of one of Romania's leading poets, Mihai Eminescu, into English. Popescu was tragically killed in the violent earthquake of 4 March 1977, aged 19. The prize is awarded every two years.

The succcess of the first Popescu prize in 2003 went way beyond the judges expectations and the Popescu Prize 2005 has broken expectations again with over 70 collections being submitted. Judges Alan Brownjohn and Dr Mike Phillips are now pleased to announce the shortlist for the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation 2005. They are:

  • Love at the Full (Lucien Becker, tr. Christopher Pilling - Flambard) - France
  • Cuceriri Disperate / Desperate Conquests (Carmen Firan, tr. Julian Semilian - Editura ICR) - Romania
  • Absurd Athlete (Yannis Kondos, tr. David Connolly - Arc Publications) - Greece
  • The Night of Akhenaton (Ágnes Nemes Nagy, tr. George Szirtes - Bloodaxe Books) - Hungary
  • A Voice (Anzhelina Polonskaya, tr. Andrew Wachtel - Northwestern University Press) - Russia
  • The Bridge (Marin Sorescu, tr. Adam J Sorkin and Lidia Vianu, Bloodaxe Books) - Romania

The Popescu Prize, as judge Alan Brownjohn states, is important because it "is intended to encourage translation, translators and all publishers who recognise the value of the art." Peter Lewis of Flambard Press explains further "anything that encourages the reading public in this country to take notice of what is happening in other literatures is welcome, which is why the very few awards for literary translation are so important. They are not going to garner a tenth of the attention and publicity that awaits the Booker short list, or even long list, but they perform a really valuable reminder that there is an abundance of literary riches out there if we bother to take off our blinkers."

The announcement of the winner will follow a reading from the shortlisted books at Goodenough College in London on Thursday 8 September. Tickets £6/£4 (concessions and Poetry Society members) and includes a wine reception. To book call 0207 420 9895 or email [email protected].

- ENDS -

For further information about the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation 2005 telephone 020 7420 9895, follow this link, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editors

  • For further information about the Poetry Society visit www.poetrysociety.org.uk
  • For more information about the Ratiu Foundation UK visit : www.ratiufamilyfoundation.com
  • The Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation: Prizegiving ceremony. Thursday 8 September at 7.30pm. Hosted by the Judges and with a reading from the shortlisted books. At Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB. www.goodenough.ac.uk. To book tickets telephone 020 7420 9895 or email [email protected].

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