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Richard Gwyn Shortlisted for The Premio Valle Inclán
Thursday, 26 Nov 2020
We're so pleased to share that Richard Gwyn is shortlisted for the The Premio Valle Inclán for his translation of Impossible Loves by Darío Jaramillo! The Premio Valle Inclán is one of six prizes announced by the Society of Authors as part of their 2020 Translation Prizes.
The full shortlist is as follows:
Richard Gwyn for a translation of Impossible Loves by Darío Jaramillo (Carcanet Poetry)
Abigail Parry and Serafina Vick for a translation of A Little Body are Many Parts by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias (Bloodaxe Books and the Poetry Translation Centre)
Anne McLean for a translation of Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas (MacLehose Press)
Margaret Jull Costa and Sophie Hughes for a translation of Mac and His Problem by Enrique Vila-Matas (Vintage, PRH)
Megan McDowell for a translation of Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (Oneworld)
Katherine Silver for a translation of The Word of the Speechless by Julio Ramón Ribeyro (New York Review Books)
The judges said of this year’s shortlist:
'The judging process was hard at every level, especially that of reducing the longlist down to a shortlist: there were no books that felt like they didn't deserve their place, and several that missed the cut by an almost arbitrary whisker … The shortlist ended up covering a range of styles and types of writing: short stories and poetry as well as novels. A certain melancholy air of reminiscence hangs over many of the works chosen, though whether this is a result of the judges' own prejudices or the times we are living in, or something particular to Spanish-language literature, is uncertain.'
The winners will be announced in an online celebration on Thursday 11 February 2021.
In his poems Darío Jaramillo relentlessly interrogates time, ecstatically celebrates life lived, and mourns its transience.
This is the first substantial sampling in English of Colombia's greatest living poet, and it draws on five decades' work. Time has been Jaramillo's key theme, all the more urgently so as he grows older. Impossible and lost loves provide another theme, as do the effects of violence done to the body. Absences and disappearances are part of the mix, all underpinned by nostalgia for an idealised, rural childhood. Most of the poems lack a specific geography, though others shift between Bogotá, where the poet lives, the tropical Antioquia of his childhood, and a nameless place peopled by the ghosts of dead friends.
Jaramillo also takes time to interrogate the humble mango, the rubber tree, the domestic cat. Paradox lies at the core of his work: an only child, the poet's 'brothers' are often wild, chaotic characters, given to excess and self-destructive behaviour. 'I like to hallucinate in words,' he said when he won the National Poetry Award in 2017.
The book includes a full afterword by the award-winning poet and writer Richard Gwyn, translator of the celebrated anthology The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America (2016). This is a dual-language edition.
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