20 August 08 | Chad W. Post

Fady Joudah has been awarded the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for his translation of the late Mahmoud Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden.

From The Guardian:

The Butterfly’s Burden, published as a bilingual edition, brings together the first three volumes of poetry Darwish published on his return to Ramallah after a 26-year exile: The Stranger’s Bed, A State of Siege (written in response to the second Intifada) and Don’t Apologise for What You’ve Done.

Judges said that Joudah’s translation was their unanimous choice to win the prize. Literary translator Marilyn Booth said it allowed English readers “to savour the solid and carefully crafted building blocks of Darwish’s bold and delicate imagery and the echoes of his sound patterns…

“Darwish has long been an eloquent voice for Palestinian identity, aspirations, and rights, but his poetry is never reducible to politics, and this volume above all communicates Darwish’s mighty artistic presence at this utterly mature period of his poetic career.”

This Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize was started in 2005 by the Banipal Trust and Banipal Magazine, which is one of—if not the only—magazines in the world dedicated exclusively to publishing Arabic works in translation. The prize carries with it a £2,000 cash award.

The Butterfly’s Burden is available in the U.S. from Copper Canyon Press and in the UK from Bloodaxe Books.


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