• Subscribe to our e-letters

  • Facebook_icon

Prizewinners’ news

Alexandra Berlina
Ilya Bernstein
Catherine Ciepiela
Boris Dralyuk
Huw Davies
Alyssa Gillespie
Irina Mashinski
Iryna Shuvalova
Katherine Young

Alexandra Berlina won third prize in 2012 for her translation of You can't tell a gnat… by Joseph Brodsky.

Alexandra is Assistant Professor for American Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and her latest publication is Brodsky Translating Brodsky: Poetry in Self-Translation, introduced by Robert Chandler (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). Winner in 2012 of the Barnstone Translation Prize, she attempts in this book to answer questions such as: Is poetry lost in translation, or is it perhaps the other way around? What happens when a poet decides to give his favorite Russian poems a new life in English? Are the new texts shadows, twins or doppelgangers of their originals – or are they something completely different? Does the poet resurrect himself from the death of the author by reinterpreting his own work in another language, or does he turn into a monster: a bilingual, bicultural centaur?



Ilya Bernstein was commended in 2011 for his translation of Mr Golden Samovar by Daniil Kharms.

He has recently published a collection of translations of the poems of Osip Mandelstam. He has also edited an anthology of translations of the poems of Yevgeny Baratynsky by Rawley Grau, which will be published by Ugly Duckling Presse in Spring 2015.



Catherine Ciepiela won second prize in 2011 for her translation of Tomatoes and Sunflowers by Polina Barskova.

Scholar, translator of modern Russian poetry and teacher of Russian literature and poetic translation at Amherst College, Catherine Ciepiela is the author of a book on Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak (The Same Solitude, Cornell UP, 2006) and co-editor with Honor Moore of The Stray Dog Cabaret (NYRB 2006), a book of Paul Schmidt's translations of the Russian modernists. Her translations have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review, Pequod, The Common and Relocations: 3 Contemporary Russian Women Poets (Zephyr Press, 2013), edited by her and featuring her translations of poems by Polina Barskova, including 'Tomatoes and Sunflowers'. Shortlisted for the 2014 Best Translated Book Awards, Relocations examines the poetry of Polina Barskova, Anna Glazova and Maria Stepanova. In January 2015, Cathy will join other Spender and Brodsky/Spender Prize winners as a Fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland.



Boris Dralyuk won first prize with Irina Mashinski for their translation of Field Hospital by Arseny Tarkovsky. He was commended in the same year for this translation of All that Happened to Me by Irina Mashinski.

Boris Dralyuk is a Lecturer in Russian at the University of St Andrews and translator of several volumes from Russian and Polish, including, most recently, Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry (Pushkin Press, 2014). He is the co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (February 2015).



Huw Davies was commended in 2012 for his translation of Camellia by Igor Irteniev.

His latest translations include Good Stalin by Victor Erofeyev and Heroes of the 90s: A New History of Russian Capitalism by Alexander Solovev, Vladislav Dorofeev and Valeria Bashkirova (both published by Glagoslav Publications, 2014).



Alyssa Dinega Gillespie won joint third prize in 2011 for 'Two trees desire to come together...' by Marina Tsvetaeva.

Alyssa Gillespie is associate professor of Russian language and literature at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. Her scholarly books include A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva (2001), which is forthcoming in a Russian-language version in 2015, and Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations (2012); she is currently at work on a scholarly monograph on the writing of Alexander Pushkin. She received first prize in the 2012 Compass Awards for her translation of Marina Tsvetaeva's 'Poem of the End'. She has published translations of poems by Tsvetaeva and Pushkin in a special issue of the New England Review (2014); she also has translations of poems by Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelstam, Zinaida Gippius, and Nikolai Gumilev forthcoming in Russian Silver Age Poetry: A Coursebook (edited by Sibelan Forrester and Martha Kelly). Her translation of a poem by Polina Barskova will appear in the spring 2015 issue of the Atlanta Review.


Irina Mashinski

Irina Mashinski won first prize in 2012 with Boris Dralyuk for their translation of 'Field Hospital' Arseny Tarkovsky. She is the author of nine books of poetry and translations and the winner of several Russian literary awards. Her most recent collection, Ophelia i masterok (Ophelia and the Trowel), was published by Ailuros Publishing in 2013, and her first English-language collection, The Naked World, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil in 2015. She is co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015).

Irina Mashinski is co-founder (with the late Oleg Woolf) and editor-in-chief of the StoSvet literary project, which includes the Cardinal Points journal, dedicated largely to Russian literature (in English), and Storony Sveta journal (in Russian), as well as the StoSvet Press and Compass Translation Award (Russian poetry in English). Between 2012 and 2014, after a gap following Oleg Woolf's death in 2011, she brought the project back to life and expanded it, running three Compass translation competitions, dedicated respectively to Marina Tsvetaeva (2012), Maria Petrovykh (2013), and Arseny Tarkovsky (2014, with A. Veytsman), and reviving the Storony Sveta (Стороны света) and Cardinal Points journals, as well as the StoSvet Press, which in that period published several books by contemporary writers and poets. In March 2015 she was long listed for the Russian Award for promoting Russian literature abroad via StoSvet.



Iryna Shuvalova won second prize in 2012 for her translation of For the Prayer of a Touch by Sergei Chegra.

Iryna Shuvalova is a prize-winning poet and translator from Ukraine whose poems have been translated into eight languages. Her first book of poems, Ran (2011), won numerous national awards. She has recently published two new collections of original poems in Ukrainian, Os and Az, her translations from Ukrainian appeared in Words Without Borders in August 2014, and her translations of a number of poems by Sergei Chegra have been accepted for publication by Modern Poetry in Translation. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2013–14 when she received her MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, and in June 2015 she will take up a Hawthornden Fellowship.



Katherine E. Young won joint third prize in 2011 for her translation of Yuri Gagarin Was a Great Russian Poet by Inna Kabysh.

Day of the Border Guards (University of Arkansas Miller Williams Prize finalist), original poems of Russia and the USSR, was named one of Beltway Poetry's 'Ten Best Books of 2014'. Two Poems (Artist's Proof Editions), a short collection of Katherine's translations of Inna Kabysh for the iPad that includes sound, video, and text, was also published in 2014. Her translations of Xenia Emelyanova were longlisted for the 2014 PEN/International New Voices Award, and her translations of Vladimir Kornilov appeared in The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. In January 2015 Katherine will join other Spender and Brodsky/Spender Prize winners in Scotland as a Hawthornden Fellow. For more information, see Katherine Young's website.