Judges: Elaine Feinstein and Stephen Romer
Prize: £1,500; Closing date: 31 May 2009
The Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation 2009 is open to collections of poetry published between 1 June 2007 and 31 May 2009 which feature poetry translated from another European language into English.
The Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation is a wonderful opportunity to travel through Europe’s amazing landscapes and cultures. This biennial prize has previously celebrated the stormy political and cultural landscape of Germany, with David Constantine’s translation of Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s Lighter than Air; the melancholy of the human condition viewed by Marin Sorescu with distinctly Romanian irony in The Bridge, translated by Adam J Sorkin and Lidia Vianu; and rich Estonian folksong traditions, with Kristiina Ehin’s The Drums of Silence , translated by Ilmar Lehtpere.
The Prize is named after Corneliu M Popescu, translator of the work of one of Romania’s leading poets, Mihai Eminescu, into English. Popescu was killed in the violent earthquake of 4 March 1977, aged 19. The Prize was initiated in the early 1980s by Ion Ratiu, the well known Romanian politician, businessman, philanthropist, champion of democracy, and supporter of the arts. In his memory we are launching this year’s competition on 17 January 2009, the ninth commemoration of his passing away.
Elaine Feinstein is a poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, biographer and translator. She was born in 1930 in Bootle, Lancashire. Elaine Feinstein’s first volume of poetry, In a Green Eye, was published in 1966. Her later work has been influenced by the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva, a poet whose work she has translated from the Russian. She is also the author of several biographies and novels, her most recent being The Russian Jerusalem (2008). She lives in London and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her most recent poetry collection is Talking to the Dead (2007), dedicated to the memory of her husband, Arnold.
Stephen Romer was born in Hertfordshire in 1957, and is a lecturer at the University of Tours in France. He has also been Visiting Professor in French at Colgate University, New York. His own poetry collections include Idols (1986); Plato’s Ladder (1992); and Tribute (1998). He has translated many French poets, including Philippe Jaccottet, Jean Tardieu, and Jacques Dupin. He has also translated sections from the Notebooks of Paul Valéry (2002). His latest collection of poetry is Yellow Studio (2008), shortlisted for the 2008 T. S. Eliot Prize. Stephen Romer is also the editor of 20th Century French Poems (2002).