The Joseph Brodsky/
Stephen Spender Prize 2011

Judged by Sasha Dugdale, Catriona Kelly
and Paul Muldoon

Sasha Dugdale    Catriona Kelly      Paul Muldoon

Read the judges’ report

The winners in the inaugural year are


Constantine Rusanov
for Hedgehog by Alexei Parshchikov


Catherine Ciepiela
for Tomatoes and Sunflowers by Polina Barskova

Joint third

Alyssa Gillespie
for Two trees desire to come together... by Marina Tsvetaeva
Katherine Young
for Yuri Gagarin Was a Great Russian Poet by Inna Kabysh


Ilya Bernstein
for Mr Golden Samovar by Daniil Kharms
Judith Pulman
for an extract from The Butterfly by Joseph Brodsky

About the judges

Sasha Dugdale

is a poet and translator. In the 1990s she worked for the British Council in Russia, where she set up the Russian New Writing Project with the Royal Court Theatre. Since her return in 2001 she has translated new plays for the Court, the RSC and other theatre companies. She has published two collections of translations of Russian poetry. The most recent, Birdsong on the Seabed (Bloodaxe) by Elena Shvarts, was a Poetry Book Society choice and shortlisted for the Popescu and Academica Rossica Translation Awards. A third collection of her own poems, The Red House, is published by Carcanet in August 2011.

Catriona Kelly

is Professor of Russian at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has published widely on Russian cultural history, including most recently Comrade Pavlik: The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Boy Hero (Granta Books, 2005), and Children’s World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890–1991 (Yale University Press, 2007). She has also edited An Anthology of Russian Women’s Writing (OUP 1994) and Utopias: Russian Modernist Texts, 1905–1940 (Penguin, 2009), and has published numerous translations of Russian authors, including Tsvetaeva, Mayakovsky, Leonid Borodin, Elena Shvarts, Olga Sedakova and others. She reviews regularly for the TLS and Guardian, and in 2007 she was a judge of the Rossica Prize for translation from Russian.

Paul Muldoon

Since 1987 Paul Muldoon has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University and Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College. Paul Muldoon's main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968–1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010).

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as ‘the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War’.

The Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize is supported by
the John S. Cohen Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, the Derek Hill Foundation, Anon, Jonathan Barker, Desmond Clarke, Christopher MacLehose, Valentina Polukhina, Lois Sieff, Prue Skene, Matthew Spender, Saskia Spender, Philip Spender and Daniel Weissbort