June 10, 2021
The French-American Foundation was delighted to honor this year’s Translation Prize winners with a virtual celebration on June 3, 2021. The event’s opening conversation, held between special guest Cole Swensen (translator, poet, and professor of Literary Arts at Brown University) and moderator Tess Lewis (writer, translator, and Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review), contemplated how the purpose of translation is not merely to convey words in different languages, but is an art and act of translating cultural moments, serving to bridge societies, elevate different voices, and foster exchange through language and shared meaning.
Jury member Esther Allen presented the fiction prize to winner Chris Andrews for his translation of Our Riches by Kaouther Adimi. The non-fiction prize was then given by James Swenson, also a member of the jury, to Hoyt Rogers for his translation of Rome, 1630 by Yves Bonnefoy. The winners took questions, read excerpts from their respective works, and shared thoughts on their techniques and perspectives on the art of translation. Learn more about this year’s winners.
- Fiction: Chris Andrews, for his translation of “Our Riches” by Kaouther Adimi, New Directions Publishing
- Nonfiction: Hoyt Rogers, for his translation of “Rome, 1630: The Horizon of the Early Baroque, Followed by Five Essays on Seventeenth-Century Art” by Yves Bonnefoy, Seagull Books/University of Chicago Press
The Translation Prize is an initiative managed by the French-American Foundation since 1986 with the generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation. Each year, the French-American Foundation convenes a jury of professionals to award a prize for the best translation from French into English in the categories of both fiction and nonfiction. The submission cycle for the 2022 awards will resume at the end of the 2021 calendar year.
Cole Swensen: Cole Swensen is the author of seventeen collections of poetry, most recently On Walking On (Nightboat, 2017), Gave (Omnidawn, 2017), and Landscapes on a Train (Nightboat 2015), and a volume of critical essays. Her poetic collections turn around specific research projects, including ones on public parks, visual art, illuminated manuscripts, and ghosts. Her work has won the National Poetry Series, the Iowa Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, and the PEN USA Award in Literary Translation. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she is the co-editor of the Norton anthology American Hybrid and the founding editor of La Presse Poetry (www.lapressepoetry.com). She teaches at Brown University.