Winning translations published on Young Poets Network

This summer, The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network teamed up with Modern Poetry in Translation, challenging young poets worldwide to co-translate ‘Today’ by Western Armenian poet Lola Koundakjian.

We provided a bridge translation and translator’s notes from Adham Smart, and an introduction to translating poetry by MPT editor Clare Pollard. Equipped with these translating tools, young writers from 12 countries around the world sent in their interpretations of Koundakjian’s short poem: we received entries from the UK, USA, China, Egypt, France, Hungary, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Armenia, Serbia and Switzerland. Clare also led a free workshop for young poets at The Poetry Café, creating a group translation of Anna Szabó’s ‘Heading home, dusk’ and developing their translation skills.

We are delighted to announce the winners of this translation challenge:

Photo of Nadia reading
Nadia Lines. Photo: Cesare de Giglio

First prize is awarded to Nadia Lines for her translation titled ‘Today’. Nadia’s poem will be published in the next issue of MPT.

Second prize goes to Aldwin Li, and third prize to Olivia Todd, whose translation was created through some clever Google Translating.

Commended poets are: Maia Brown, Ellora Sutton, Isabella Jiang, Daniel Baksi, William Snelling and Beth Bayliss.

Congratulations to these brilliant young poet-translators! We’d also like to congratulate the poets who made it to Clare’s longlist: Shruti Agarwal, Marlene Agius, Lucy Best, Sarah Chitson, Jack Cooper, Marion Deal, Grace Alice Evans, Thomas Frost, Flora Hausammann, Beatrix Livesey-Stephens, Rhiannon Paton, Tom Rowe, Maggie Wang, Shona Whelan, Cindy Xin, and Fathima Zahra. We can’t wait to see more from these young writers.

Find out more about this challenge, and read Lola Koundakjian’s original poem and Adham Smart’s bridge translation here.

Young Poets Network is The Poetry Society’s online platform for young poets aged up to 25. To get involved, visit our website and sign up to our fortnightly mailing list for updates on all we offer young writers.

Clare Pollard photo: Justine Stoddart.

5 September 2019