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Best Translated Book Award: Poetry!

A few weeks back, I posted about the 2010 Best Translated Book Award and included all of the dates and information for the Fiction selections. (To recap: We’ll announce the 25-title longlist on Tuesday, January 5th, the ten finalists on Tuesday, February 16th, and the winner at a TBD day in mid-March.)

In terms of potery, just over 60 titles came out over the past year (that year being from December 2008 through November 2009), so rather than announce a longlist consisting of 40% of all eligible books, for poetry we’re skipping right to the finalists and announcing the ten BTB poetry books on Tuesday, February 16th. And just as we do for the fiction titles, we’ll be highlighting a poetry book a day between the 22nd of February and the announcement of the winner.

I’ve been contacting all publishers with eligible titles, but in case I missed anyone, or in case you’re intentionally or unintentionally ignoring my e-mail, I thought I’d post the general guidelines on submitting books for the prize.

All original translations published between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009 are eligible. And by “original” we mean collections that have never before appeared in English—so no reprints, and no retranslations.

There’s no entry fee, all you have to do is mail one copy of your publication to each of the five panelists. (And if possible, send one copy to me as well—my address is on that same form—for record keeping and whatnot.) Please include a note or mark the package in some way indicating that these are 2010 BTB submissions . . .

Here are the names of the five panelists for this year’s award:

  • Brandon Holmquest, poet, translator, editor of CALQUE;
  • Jennifer Kronovet, poet, translator, editor of Circumference;
  • Idra Novey, poet, translator, Executive Director of the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University;
  • Kevin Prufer, poet, academic, essayist, and co-editor of New European Poets;
  • Matthew Zapruder, poet, translator, academic, and co-editor of Wave Books.

And now the countdown begins . . . I have a feeling that this year’s award will spark a lot more debate than the 2009 one. There doesn’t seem to be as many clear-cut favorites this time around, whereas last year was all about Bolano . . . And although he didn’t win, 2666 was one of the three best books that stood out to all of the panelists, along with Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness, and eventual winner Attila Bartis’s Tranquility. Should be interesting . . .



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