The Compass Translation Award -2013 Ceremony and Reading. The Maria Petrovykh Competition


The Compass Translation Award -2013 Ceremony and Reading

The Maria Petrovykh Competition

Sponsored by Pushkin Club and the Cardinal Points Journal

The Compass Award was established in 2011 by the Cardinal Points Journal in order to recognize thebest English translations of Russian poetry. Each year the competition is dedicated toaparticular Russian poet. The third Compass Award contest (2013) was for translations of Maria Petrovykh (1908-79).

Petrovykh was a poet of exquisite precision and subtlety. Anna Akhmatova greatly admired her work and she inspired one of Osip Mandestam’s most famous love poems. Yet, unlike her fellow masters, she has not yet attained general recognition. In part, this is due to her own humility; she published only one collection in her lifetime, and devoted most of her professional life to editing and translating the work of others. The organizers of the Compass Competiton felt it was time for Petrovykh's own verse to benefit from the attention of translators as gifted and inspired as she herself.

Participants will include winners and commended translators: Josephine von Zitzewitz (UK); Alexandra Berlina (Germany); Peter Oram (UK-Germany); and Dina Gussejnova (UK).

Compass judges Angela Livingstone, Peter Daniels and Robert Chandler will also participate, along with Masha Karp and Poel Karp.

During the second half of the evening, we will discuss the poetry of Arseny Tarkovsky, the poet to whom the Compass Award (2014) will be dedicated. Tarkovsky, like Petrovykh, made his living as a translator of verse and was able to publish his own work only in his last years. Like Petrovykh, he is not as well known as he deserves to be – though his son, Andrey Tarkovsky, quotes several of his poems in his films.

The Compass Translation Award is a part of the StoSvet project, which also includes the Стороны Света/Storony Sveta and Cardinal Points journals and Stosvet Press publishing house.

The project was co-founded by poets Oleg Woolf (1954-2011) and Irina Mashinski, its current Editor.

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