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2017 prize poster

The Stephen Spender Trust prize for Poetry in Translation 2017 is now open.

Details and entry forms can be found here from 27 February. The closing date for entries will be Friday 26 May 2017.

The judges of the 2017 Stephen Spender prize

Margaret Jull Costa

Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over thirty years and has translated works by novelists such as Eça de Queiroz, José Saramago, Javier Marías and Teolinda Gersão, as well as poets such as Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Ana Luísa Amaral. In 2013 she was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2014 was awarded an OBE for services to literature.

Olivia McCannon

Olivia McCannon's poetry collection Exactly My Own Length (Carcanet/Oxford Poets, 2011) was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and won the 2012 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. She lived for nine years in France and her translations include Balzac's Old Man Goriot (Penguin Classics, 2011), contemporary poetry and drama. She co-judged the Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize in 2015.

Sean OBrien

Sean O'Brien is a poet, critic, anthologist and editor, Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His sixth collection, The Drowned Book (2007), won the Forward and T S Eliot Prizes. Recent publications include Collected Poems (2012) and The Beautiful Librarians (2015), which shared the Roehampton Poetry Prize with Carole Satyamurti's Mahabharata.

Theo Kwek

To celebrate the launch of the 2017 prize we asked 2016 winner Theophilus Kwek to write about his experiences in translation and the moving themes of location and dislocation: 'A Place Between Places'

Creative Translation in the Classroom

Training Day, funded by the Rothschild Foundation in association with The Stephen Spender Trust. Waddesdon Manor Dairy, Thursday 8th June 2017, 9.30am-4.30pm. Lunch provided.

Callout to Schools

Translators in Schools has now developed a broad-spectrum language and literacy toolkit, which can be applied creatively and effectively across the curriculum. Our training equips translators, teachers and teaching assistants to use translation in classroom settings and beyond. It promotes multilingualism as a crucible for imaginative learning (including in monolingual classes), linking to National Curriculum objectives in literacy, MFL and citizenship. Suitable for educators working with key stages 2-5, the second half of our CPD day will broker partnerships between translators and teachers.

Following the training day, four local schools will be assigned their own translator-in-residence to help embed innovative and practical approaches to classroom translation. Primary and secondary schools in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire within a 30-mile radius of Waddesdon, are encouraged to nominate one or more teachers to attend this inspiring training opportunity in uplifting surroundings, by e-mailing

Callout to Translators

We hope to pilot two projects in primary schools and two in secondary schools, and are looking for practitioners interested in developing original work for translation-in-the-classroom. You'll be collaborating with one or more teachers, remotely and on-site. Expressions of interest should be made to Detailed brief to follow.

in association with The Guardian
supported by
The Old Possum’s Practical Trust
The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation
The Golsoncott Foundation

Congratulations to the 2016 winners and commended!

Winner: Tomás Sergeant ‘Desire’ Federico García Lorca (Spanish)

Thomas Delgado-Little
‘The Crime’
Antonio Machado (Spanish)

Jamie Kennedy
‘The Soldier’
Emilio Prados (Spanish)

First: John Tinneny
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Irish)

Second: George Jones
‘Catullus 13’

Third: Alice Mee
‘Ballad of the Moon’
Federico García Lorca (Spanish)

Michael O’Connor
‘Open Windows’
Victor Hugo (French)

Open category
First: Lesley Saunders
‘Poem’ by Maria Teresa Horta (Portuguese)

Second: Theophilus Kwek
‘Moving House’
Wong Yoon Wah (Chinese)

Third: Mark McGuinness
from Troilus and Criseyde
Chaucer (Middle English)

Rey Conquer and Izabela Rakar
from ‘The First World War’
Thomas Kling (German)

Peter Russell
Günther Grass (German)

Lesley Saunders
‘The Misses’
Yvette K. Centeno (Portuguese)

Graham Sells
Giorgio Caproni (Italian)

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

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