The Contemporary Russian Poetry in Translation Residency offers a translator and a living ‘Russian language’ poet an opportunity to meet and work together over three weeks. The Residency will take place in a different UK venue every year. This year the Residency will take place in an Oxford college.

The aim of the Residency is to support the translation of contemporary Russian poetry by providing a supportive environment where the translator and poet can work together.

The Residency offers networking opportunities via public events and collaborations. The Residency also aims to provide international exposure for contemporary Russian poetry and there will be an opportunity to publish translated work in Modern Poetry in Translation following the Residency.

Our inaugural Residency will take place at The Queen’s College, Oxford, which has a strong tradition of translation, and St Edmund Hall.


Applications open 15 July 2019
Deadline for applications 1 October 2019
Residents announced 21 October 2019
Residency February to March 2020


The Residency will pay for the travel, associated travel documents, and accommodation for the translator and poet over a period of 3 weeks between early February and early March 2020. Full board will be provided and there will be a small per diem.

A space for joint-working will be provided.

Both the translator and poet will be asked to give a reading at Pushkin House in London and an Oxford college, as well as a masterclass for students in Oxford.


We are looking for a translator-poet pair who consider that they will benefit from spending dedicated time working together and are willing to take part in poetry readings and a masterclass.

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Charlotte Ryland is a project manager, editor, translator and lecturer. She’s committed to promoting languages at school level and to widening participation at university level, and is interested in the role that translation and foreign literatures can play in that endeavour. Charlotte runs the Stephen Spender Trust and the Translation Exchange at The Queen’s College Oxford.

Sasha Dugdale * is a poet, playwright, and translator born in Sussex, England. She has worked as a consultant for theater companies in addition to writing her own plays. From 1995 to 2000, she worked for the British Council in Russia. She is author of the poetry collections The Estate (2007), Notebook (2003), and Red House (2011) and has translated Russian poetry and drama, including Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Clem Cecil is the Director of Pushkin House. She is former Moscow correspondent for The Times, and co-founder of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society. She has co-edited four books on the threatened architecture of Moscow, Samara and St Petersburg. From 2012 to 2016 she was the Director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage and SAVE Europe’s Heritage.

Dmitry Kuzmin * is a Russian writer, award-winning poet, political commentator (especially in the sphere of gay rights), publisher, academic, and active translator of poetry into Russian.

Josephine von Zitzewitz * has held research and teaching posts at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol. She is about to finish a monograph, entitled The Culture of Samizdat: Literature and Underground Networks in the Late Soviet Union.

Maria Stepanova * is a poet, essayist, journalist and the author of ten poetry collections and two books of essays. She has been awarded several Russian and international literary awards (including the prestigious Andrey Bely Prize and Joseph Brodsky Fellowship)

Clare Pollard works as an editor, journalist and teacher. She is the new editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, co-founded by Ted Hughes, and poetry editor for The Idler.

Andrew Kahn is the Tutorial Fellow in Russian at St Edmund Hall, and Professor of Russian Literature in the University of Oxford.

* Jury Member


1. There are no restrictions on entrants’ citizenship or residency status, so long as they are able to travel internationally to the UK. The Residency will be able to cover travel documents (a UK visa). The Residency will not cover costs for new identity documents.
2. Applicants are invited to submit up to 3 of their translations into English of poems by the Russian poet they are nominating. Each translation should come together with the original poem. Self-translation is not accepted (i.e. applications should be made by translators). Each translation must be the original work of the entrant and not a copy or substantial copy of someone else's translation.
3. Applicants should submit a covering letter of no more than 1 thousand words that should include information on the following:

  • Your reasons for translating this particular poem(s)/poet

  • Problems encountered in translating the poem(s) you have chosen

  • Your approach to the poem(s) (i.e. if the original is in a particular form — rhyme or a regular metre — have you or have you not attempted to preserve that form in English?)

  • What you find of particular interest in the poem(s), poet’s work

4. Entires will be judged without the panel of judges knowing the identity of the competitors so neither the translator's name, nor the poet’s, should be on the translation, original poem or covering letter, only on the entry application form.
5. Entries must only be received via the application form.
6. The Residency will be administered by Pushkin House in collaboration with The Queens College Oxford and St Edmund Hall Oxford. The Residency will be judged by Sasha Dugdale, Dmitry Kuzmin, Josephine von Zitzewitz and Maria Stepanova. Their decision will be final and the organisers will not enter into any correspondence about the results.
7. The organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award the Residency if, in the judges' opinion, such an action is justified.
8. The chosen translator and poet will be announced on 21st October 2019. The Residency will take place over three weeks during the period 1st February to 8th March 2020. The Residency will take place in The Queens College Oxford and St Edmund Hall Oxford. During the course of the Residency a reading and masterclass will take place at an Oxford college, in addition to a reading and masterclass taking place in Pushkin House, London.
9. The translator and poet are expected to work on translations of the poet’s work during the Residency. There will be an opportunity to publish translated work in the summer edition of Modern Poetry in Translation 2020. The copyright of the work will remain with the translator and poet but Pushkin House will have the right in perpetuity to publish and/or broadcast the translations and commentaries.
10. By applying for the Residency you give Pushkin House permission to hold the personal information you have given for the purpose of the 2020 Residency. The personal information that you provide will be securely stored by Pushkin House and will be used for no other purpose than this Residency activity, nor knowingly passed to any other organisation or person not associated with or authorised by Pushkin House.

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