"Marooned on our island of language, the Popescu is one of the few regular supply ships.”
Sasha Dugdale, judge
Selected from a shortlist of six, Raptors, Tellegen’s poem sequence about a dysfunctional family, marks a major Dutch writer at the height of his powers, and a ‘sustained tour de force’ of translation.
"His [Tellegen's] complex, often surreal and always highly affecting poems exhibit an understanding of the power of the story in which the dream-like psychology, the marvellously nuanced telling of a family's malaise set him apart as an entirely distinctive voice in European poetry" say judges Sasha Dugdale and Jane Draycott.
Toon Tellegen (born 1941) is a novelist, playwright, memoirist, popular children’s writer and poet with more than 20 collections. He has won numerous prizes and awards, including two in 2007 for his entire body of work. An opera, The Cricket Recovers, based on his children’s stories, was performed in Britain in 2005.
Judith Wilkinson is a British poet and translator, concentrating on contemporary Dutch and Flemish poetry. Her work has received a Poetry Book Society recommendation and several Pushcart nominations. In 2008 she won the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize. She lives in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Judith Wilkinson receives £1,500 and the was the subject of a celebratory close reading event at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival on Saturday 5th November. Below we reproduce a poem from Raptors, in which all (with the exception of the final poem) open with the words "My father..."
Toon Tellegen, Raptors trans. Judith Wilkinson (Carcanet, 2011)
For the first time in 2011, the Poetry Society also ran a virtual book club, which examined the shortlisted titles. Read the Book Club reviews.
Judges Jane Draycott and Sasha Dugdale also recognised the "ambitious and wonderfully illuminating" work of Jennie Feldman and Stephen Romer in translating Into The Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets (Anvil Press, 2009).
The Popescu Prize has been awarded biennially by the Poetry Society for a volume of poetry translated from a European language into English.
Formerly the European Poetry Translation Prize (1983-1997) the Prize was relaunched in 2003, and renamed in memory of the young Romanian translator Corneliu M Popescu, who died in an earthquake in 1977, aged 19. Popescu translated the work of one of Romania's leading poets, Mihai Eminescu, into English. The Prize’s founding sponsor was Romanian journalist, author and democracy campaigner Ion Ratiu. The prize, awarded to a translator, was supported by The Ratiu Foundation from 2003 to 2011.
2007 The Drums of Silence by Kristiina Ehin (Oleander Press) trans Ilmar Lehtpere
2005 The Bridge by Marin Sorescu (Bloodaxe) trans Adam J Sorkin & Lidia Vianu
2003 Lighter than Air by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Bloodaxe) trans David Constantine
The first winner of the Prize, in 1983, was Tony Harrison for The Oresteia.
The Ratiu Foundation was established in London in 1979 by Ion and Elisabeth Ratiu to promote and support projects which further education and research in the culture and history of Romania. The foundation offers grants to Romanian students studying a wide range of subjects in the UK, principally for projects, postgraduate courses, conference participations, travel grants, and other short term courses including academic research. They enable talented graduates and young professionals to become familiar with the UK and gain skills, which they can adapt and apply in Romania. The Ratiu Foundation offers annual seed funding for innovative projects, principally in Romania, which foster Romanian arts and civilisation, heritage, civil society, democracy and environmental protection.
Email: Robyn Donaldson
Telephone: 020 7420 9880
Judith Wilkinson has been announced winner of this year's Corneliu M Popescu Prize for her translation of Toon Tellegen's Raptors.
The shortlist has now been announced.
The submissions period is now closed. Thank you to all those publishers and writers who submitted work. Read the list of titles submitted for the 2011 competition.
Members of the Poetry Society are invited to join our Popescu vitual book club.