Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence



Friday evening found me in the midst of the Washington Mews (and PEN events) for an open-air ceremony announcing the winners of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award, with Chad Post (of sponsor 3% and of Open Letter) presiding, and after a prologue introducing Finnegans List, with Bill Martin (translator and co-founder of The Bridge Series) announcing the poetry winner and Michael A. Orthofer (of the complete review) announcing the fiction winner.

The fiction winner is no surprise: George Szirtes' Laszlo Krashnahorkai's Satantango [NDP], though Marian Schwartz's Mikhail Shishkin's Maidenhair [Open Letter] gave it a run for the money.

The poetry prize was less of a lock, but deservedly went to Sean Cotter's Nichita Stanescu's Wheel with a Single Spoke [Archipelago Books]. (I say deservedly unreservedly, though I hadn't read the the other contenders, since Stanescu certainly merits wider notice; and I look forward to Cotter's rendering of Cartarescu's Orbitor for us in October.) (Us? I'm still getting used to pronoun usage as regards Archipelago Books, and here of course I speak for myself. Though not much lately, sorry.) This is Archipelago's first award for poetry and third overall, tops among publishers, NDP having one each in poetry and fiction. But it's great to see Open Letter gaining traction, and other lit-trans pubs getting off the ground—the kind of competition I'm into is the kind that raises everybody's game.


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