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PN Review Prize winners announced

Monday, 30 Oct 2017

No Text Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize.

Chris Preddle has won the Poetry Prize with ‘Less Virgil’ and James Womack has won the Translation Prize with his translation from Spanish to English of Manuel Vilas’ ‘Macbeth'. Both winners will each receive £600.

The PN Review Prize is the first annual prize from one of the leading poetry journals worldwide, published for over 40 years by award-winning publisher Carcanet Press. The judges were Carcanet and PN Review editors Michael Schmidt and Luke Allan. Schmidt said, ‘It was a large and challenging field, and selection was, as always, a difficult process given the diversity of theme and form.’

Chris Preddle said: ‘I’m ever so pleased to have been awarded the PN Review Poetry Prize. It’s good to have a new competition for longer poems, and even better that it’s run by PN Review, one of the biggest and best poetry magazines that we have, in which we are all very happy indeed to appear. PN Review and its competition help us to push the standard higher. I’m delighted to have won, but nervous now about ever writing another line.’

James Womack responded to the news by saying, ‘I feel very lucky: lucky to have come across a writer like Vilas, whom I have really got into over the last six months and who is making my head explode in new and interesting ways with every book of his that I read, and lucky that PN Review seems to have got onto a similar wavelength to me with this translation. Vilas is a magnificently open writer, and the hardest part of the translation was conveying that openness and making sure it held together as poetry whenever it was tempted to spin into prose: I am glad that by some lights I seem to have succeeded in this.’

Five other poems were commended in each category by the judges:

PN Review Poetry Prize:
•Crystal Anderson, ‘Real Women’
•Judy Brown, ‘Steeped’
•Andrew Wynn Owen, ‘The Fisherman’
•Stewart Sanderson, ‘Love’s Labours Won’
•Rachel Spence, ‘Bird of Sorrow’

PN Review Translation Prize:
•Iain Galbraith: ‘Dealings with Gaps’ translated from the German of Peter Waterhouse
•Eve Grubin: ‘You Knew Who I Was’ translated from the 12th Century Hebrew of Yehuda Halevi
•Karen Leeder: ‘Tale of the Land of Milk and Honey’ translated from the German of Ulrike Almut Sandig
•Yvonne Reddick: ‘Wind in the Spruce Trunks’ translated from the French of Maurice Chappaz
•Simon Smith: ‘After Baudelaire: the Cygnet’ adapted from the French of Charles Baudelaire

All the poems, commended and winners, will be published in PN Review issue 239. A prize ceremony will be held in London in January 2018.

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