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Prize Poster

The 2016 Stephen Spender Prize is open for entries. Entrants are invited to submit an English translation of a poem from any language, ancient or modern. As always, there are prizes in three categories – Open, 18-and-under and 14-and-under – and the competition is open to UK and Irish citizens and residents. Closing date: Friday 27 May. Looking for inspiration? Listen to Noma Dumezweni, Patricia Hodge and Michael Pennington read some of the winning entries from previous years.

Jan Wagner

German poet Jan Wagner (pictured above) writes of 2014 and 2015 winners Iain Galbraith and Anna Leader: “The central and quite beautiful paradox remains: at times you have to be unfaithful to the original poem in order to stay faithful at all. I have been exceptionally fortunate to witness not one but two translators, Anna Leader and Iain Galbraith, perform that art on two of my own poems and be rewarded for their efforts with the Stephen Spender Prize, creating admirable English versions out of the original German. It is, incidentally, quite reassuring that such a prize exists...”


Bafta- and Emmy-nominated documentary maker Simon Ardizzone has filmed two recent Translators in Schools events: a training day for translators involving children from Allen Edwards School in Stockwell, and The Big Translate at the Southbank Centre, when 60 children from four local primary schools translated ten children’s books from around the world. Watch the film and visit the Translators in Schools website to find out more about this groundbreaking professional development programme.

Multilingual Creativity Website

Are you interested in projects that combine multilingualism and creativity? If so, visit the new Multilingual Creativity website, a hub of ideas and opportunities where you can find information about events and courses, download resources and post information about your own work in this field.

in association with The Guardian
supported by
Old Possum’s Practical Trust


Katie Gramich
Katie Gramich

Sean O'Brien
Sean O’Brien

Stephen Romer
Stephen Romer

The Stephen Spender Trust promotes literary translation and widens knowledge about Stephen Spender and his circle of writers.

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