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Welcome to the Stephen Spender Trust e-letter

The 2013 Times Stephen Spender Prize is open for entries! Download the poster for your school or public library and please spread the word. We are keen to encourage entries in the 18-and-under and 14-and-under categories from children who may not be studying a foreign language but speak a language other than English with their parents or grandparents.

Prize Booklet Cover 2012

Our award-winning collaboration with Eastside Educational Trust continues. Funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Trust, Translation Nation, which in 2011 and 2012 saw translators going into 13 primary schools, will continue its work at primary level and will also begin working with Year 9 children in secondary schools.

"They turned the table to the light. I lay
Upside down, like meat slapped onto a scale;
My soul swayed, dangling on a string."

The winners of the 2012 Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize were announced in December. Congratulations to Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski who took first prize for their translation of Field Hospital by Arseny Tarkovsky.

Arseny Tarkovsky

Cologne, 1945

In 1945 Stephen Spender spent six months in occupied Germany helping with the reconstruction of universities and libraries. European Witness (1946) is still one of the most eloquent accounts of the German landscape, society and culture in the immediate postwar period. On Thursday 14 March, 6–7.30pm, Lara Feigel, Elaine Morley and Matthew Spender will discuss Spender, European Witness and German reconstruction. Venue: Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU. Entry is free but space is limited so please email the Institute of English Studies to be sure of a place.

‘Kaarina Hollo is an absolute gem both as a scholar and translator of poetry. How lucky am I? I feel resurrected even though the Irish original has been on university courses in Irish departments in Ireland and the States for a number of years. Now I can communicate with many more people.’ Derry O’Sullivan, a translation of whose poem Marbhghin 1943:Glaoch ar Liombó won first prize in the Times Stephen Spender Prize 2012

Derry O'Sullivan

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.

‘My best gift from the Stephen Spender prize is self-belief. Translation freed me from years of writer’s block, renewed my confidence, and led to the publication of my first book.’
Jane Tozer

Jane Tozer’s translation of The Gibbet by François Villon won third prize in the Open category in 2012

‘I am four weeks into my MA in Translation at Exeter University and loving it. I don't think this would ever have happened if I hadn't been inspired to enter this competition.’
Alistair Gale, 18-and-under winner in 2005

If you would like to comment on anything in this e-newsletter or on our website, or have information about courses, competitions or events that you would like us to post on our website, please email On our noticeboard you will find information about other organisations that we think may be of interest to visitors to the Stephen Spender website.

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