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The 2014 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation is open for entries and we are delighted to announce that we have a new media partner in the Guardian! Download the poster for your school or local library, email the Trust for a free booklet of winning entries from previous years and read the wonderful translations from 2013.

“Our young translators are rightly the stars, full of confidence and vivacity… They are all true poets, as well as translators” Jane Tozer

Stephen Spender Prize 2013

On a cold November day at the Free Word Centre, 36 translators, teachers and writers came together for stage 1 of Translators in Schools, a day-long workshop led by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Holmes that offered a broad introduction to running translation workshops in schools. The laughter-filled activities included translating a version of Little Red Riding Hood in which the little girl outwits the wolf, playing rapid-fire word games and learning effective classroom management. Stage 2 will see 21 of the original 36 at Europe House testing the workshops they've devised on children from Granton Primary School. In the summer term, Roehampton University will host a version of Translators in Schools for Translation MA students.

“Immensely stimulating and rewarding” Silke Lührmann (translator from English, French and Spanish into German)

“Do you write poetry yourself?” “What languages do you speak?” “Do you read poetry aloud?” These were just some of the questions thrown at the 14-and-under and 18-and-under 2012 Spender Prize winners Damayanti Chatterjee, Amanda Thomas, David Meijer and Francis Scarr, who bravely took part in a panel discussion at Found in Translation, organised by the Children’s Bookshow. As translators from, respectively, Bengali, Portuguese, Dutch and German, they were also asked what they thought the different languages said about the mindset of native speakers.

A new version of Translation Nation has been devised for secondary schools. Students aged 12–14 at schools in Islington, Havering, Hounslow, Wandsworth, Newham and Croydon enjoyed sub-titling French and Spanish films and considering the many jobs open to those with languages.

"It helped me to understand that learning or knowing a different language is very helpful in life” Aneesah, Ashcroft Technology Academy

The Stephen Spender Trust promotes literary translation and widens knowledge about Stephen Spender and his circle of writers by means of readings, talks and a seminar series in partnership with the Institute of English Studies.


Daniel Weissbort,
poet, translator, editor
and member of
the Stephen Spender Trust

from Lettters to Ted
Do I preserve what I know
by not transcribing you,
not finding a form of words
for you –
the look of you and your way
of looking?
Do I keep you in the original,

So English
When I was a child, I knew
kids like you,
I wanted to be like them,
to grow up like them
not the Wandering Jew.
But evidently it takes two

Later I emigrated to America,
of course I’d no hope ever
of arriving,
but I left you, my children,
and the me who was
becoming just a bit like you
so English

© the Estate of Daniel Weissbort


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