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The Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize
for the translation of Russian poetry into English
in association with The London Magazine


In the 1960s Stephen Spender knew Joseph Brodsky only by reputation, as a poet imprisoned in the Soviet Union. They met for the first time in 1972 when W. H. Auden brought Brodsky, who had been expelled a few days earlier from his country, to London to the Poetry International and they stayed with the Spenders. There was an instant connection. The now biennial Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize, instigated by Maria Brodsky and Natasha Spender and now in association with The London Magazine, celebrates the poets' long friendship and the rich tradition of Russian poetry.

"The Brodsky/Spender Prize has given us some very moving translations of inspiring quality"
Maria Brodsky

2014 winning entries and judges' reports
2012 winning entries and judges' reports
2011 winning entries and judges' reports
"I hope you know just what a difference this award makes in the lives of translators, who don't generally get much time in the spotlight"
Boris Dralyuk, 2012 winner

"The Brodsky/Spender award launched my translating career" Katherine Young, 2011 winner
Read past winners' news

The judges of the 2014 competition were:
Sasha Dugdale Catriona Kelly Glyn Maxwell

Sasha Dugdale

is the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. A poet and translator, she is a recipient of the Eric Gregory award and has published three collections of her own poetry and two collections of translations of Russian poetry. Birdsong on the Seabed (Bloodaxe) by Elena Shvarts was a PBS choice and shortlisted for the Popescu and Academica Rossica Translation Awards. Sasha set up the Russian New Writing Project with the Royal Court Theatre and the British Council in the 1990s and has since translated new plays for the Court, the RSC and other theatre companies. Her translations of Russian short stories, Moscow Tales, were published in 2013.

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, St Petersburg: Shadows of the Past (Yale University Press, 2014). Her other books include, among others, 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), Utopias: Russian Modernist Texts, 1905–1940 (Penguin, 2009) and National Identity in Soviet and Post-Soviet Culture (CUP 2012; with Mark Bassin), 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. In 2007 she was a judge of the Rossica Prize for translation from Russian, and in 2011 she was on the jury for the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction.

Glyn Maxwell

was born in Welwyn Garden City, England. He is the author of several collections of poems, including The Nerve (2002), which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and Hide Now (2008), which was short-listed for both the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and the Forward Poetry Prize. The Breakage (1998), Time's Fool (2000), The Boys at Twilight (2000) and the Sugar Mile (2005) were all New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Many of his plays have been staged in London and New York, including his version of Aeschylus' Agamemnon which has its premiere this spring at the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. Glyn was the poetry editor of The New Republic (2001–7). He lives in London.

With thanks to the ACE Foundation, the Derek Hill Foundation
and The London Magazine, sponsors of the 2014 Joseph Brodsky/
Stephen Spender Prize.