Joshua Weiner and Translation Team of "Anniversary Snow" Win the Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry In Translation
March 26, 2021 English
The Sarah Maguire Prize recognizes the best book of poetry by a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East published in English translation.
Anniversary Snow by Yang Lian, translated from Chinese by by Brian Holton, has won the inaugural Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry In Translation. UMD English professor Joshua Weiner worked on the translation team with other leading English-language poets Pascale Petit, Fiona Sampson, W N Herbert and George Szirtes.
Run by the Poetry Translation Centre, the Sarah Maguire Prize recognizes the best book of poetry by a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East published in English translation. The prize is supported by the estate of Sarah Maguire, the British Council, the Garrick Charitable Trust, and the donations of the friends of Maguire, a champion of international poetry who passed away in 2017.
Anniversary Snow is grounded in the historical roots of Chinese culture. However, the judges said it went far beyond that, “reinterpreting with poise and intelligence the very essence of our existence, from the changing landscape that surrounds us, the appeal of the natural world and the inner beauty of language, exemplifying its political force and its philosophical teachings”.
"Poetry enriches the culture that is receptive to translation," says poet and translator Alireza Abiz, chair of the Sarah Maguire Prize judges. "In the UK, very often when we talk about underrepresented languages and cultures we try to depict poetry translation as giving voice to those cultures, which is true but ignores the fact that English culture and the English language also benefits from translation."
Excerpt from Mark Chandler.