Testimonials and Press
The Stephen Spender Prize is a fantastic initiative that celebrates not only poetry, languages and translation in general, but multiculturalism, diversity and community spirit, which are exactly the things that students should be exposed to throughout our country. At The Westgate School, we had a wonderful experience and submitted translations out of 25 different languages.
I honestly just want to say thank you for putting together this competition as it has been really useful for me. I have only just started learning Polish since my A levels (I’m from the UK) were cancelled. I’m now going on a gap year to Poland to explore its rich history! I just thought I’d explain how significant this competition has been to someone.
By adding an under-16 category it seems to me that you have gone right to the core of why the prize was set up in the first place – to encourage teachers and to help young people find creative ways of engaging with other languages.
The Stephen Spender Prize could not have arrived at a better time. As we language teachers devote ourselves to searching for new ways to engage our students from afar, I am thrilled to be getting my students involved in a creative activity which will take them to the heart of what it means to communicate between different languages. Now more than ever, at a time when other cultures may be less accessible physically, poetry translation has the power to guide students into other worlds, lives, and experiences.
I feel fortunate to be recognised by an organisation that has done so much to raise the profile of literary translation, and continues to do so much to promote the values of multilingualism and language-learning in primary and secondary education at a time of perilous cuts and downturns. How and why we translate—to say nothing of the texts we choose to translate—can be powerfully informative about ourselves and our societies, and winning the Stephen Spender Prize has given a boost to my confidence, and a resolve to further explore these issues in my own work.
What a find! What a way to engage my learners with the language I love! What a way to keep them going in these difficult times!
I very much enjoyed entering the Stephen Spender Prize and it was an amazing opportunity. It has increased my ability to translate poems and my interest in poetry, languages and writing. The whole experience has been something that I will never forget.
Entering for the first time and winning the Polish Spotlight was a hugely rewarding experience! Not only did it push me to explore my heritage, but I also found the skills required for translating and reflecting on the process to be something that I can take forward with me as I go onto university.