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Winners of The Stephen Spender Prize announced | 07-Nov-16

The winners of the Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation have been revealed. Lesley Saunders is this year's Open prize winner, beguiling judges Katie Gramich, Sean O'Brien and Stephen Romer with her erotic translation from the Portuguese of Maria Teresa Horta's Poem. She also received a commendation for her translation of Misses by Yvette K Centeno, described as 'haunting and unsettling' by Katie Gramich. 

Second prize went to Theophilus Kwek for his rendering of Wong Yoon Wah's Chinese poem, Moving House. The poem is presented in six squares, representing a life being packed into boxes. Mark McGuinness's version of the poem Troilus and Criseyde took third prize.

In the 18-and-under category, John Tinneny's take on Irish poet Nuali Ní Dhomhnaill's Persephone with its BMW-driving Hades won over the judges. 'He's only after giving me a pomegranate,' Persephone tells her mother. More wit came from Catullus 13, translated by George Jones, which took second prize, third place going to Alice Mee for her atmospheric rendering of Lorca's Ballad of the Moon. Tomás Sergeant was voted winner of the 14-and-under category for his translation of Desire, which Sean O'Brien felt 'showed a readiness to engage with the difficult directness and immediate depth of feeling found in work by Lorca'.

The Winners and Commended

14-and-under 
Winner: Tomás Sergeant 'Desire' Federico García Lorca (Spanish)
Commended: Thomas Delgado-Little 'The Crime' 
Antonio Machado (Spanish)
Jamie Kennedy 'The Soldier' Emilio Prados (Spanish)

18-and-under
First: John Tinneny 'Persephone' Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Irish) 
Second: George Jones 'Catullus 13' (Latin)
Third: Alice Mee 'Ballad of the Moon' Federico García Lorca (Spanish)
Commended: Michael O’Connor 'Open Windows'  Victor Hugo (French)

Open category
First: Lesley Saunders 'Poem' by Maria Teresa Horta (Portuguese)
Second: Theophilus Kwek 'Moving House' Wong Yoon Wah (Chinese)
Third: Mark McGuinness from Troilus and Criseyde Chaucer (Middle English)
Commended: Rey Conquer and Izabela Rakar from 'The First World War' Thomas Kling (German)
Peter Russell 'Breaktime' Günther Grass (German)
Lesley Saunders 'The Misses' Yvette K. Centeno (Portuguese)
Graham Sells 'Dawn' Giorgio Caproni (Italian)



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