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Gdańskie Spotkania Tłumaczy Literatury

The Tadeusz Boy–Żeleński Translation Work Award of the President of Gdańsk

The Tadeusz Boy–Żeleński Translation Work Award is a recognition of the merits and mastery of literary translators. Providing continuous exchange among national literatures, literary translation enriches culture, aids the development of humanities, and expands our understanding of the world and other people. Translation initiates new styles, enriches Polish literature and discovers what it has not yet discovered.

The aim of the Award, established by the President of the City of Gdańsk, is highlighting the rank held by translation and translator alike. It is also a voice in the debate concerning our literary culture.

Connected to the Translation Work Award are the Gdańsk Meetings of Literary Translators “Found in Translation”, initiated in 2013 – and it is during the second edition of this festival that we shall learn the name of its first winner. The inclusion of the Award in the Meetings programme completes the message of the festival, says Aleksandra Szymańska, director of the CCI. It is an expression of respect for the profession and artistry of the translator — profession, which should be duly honoured in terms of both prestige and finances. During the event, we will enjoy the company of the most prominent translators nominated as the finalists – we wish to engage them in an open discussion with the Gdańsk audience.

The winner of the Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Award receives 50.000 PLN.

Members of the first Jury of the Award are: Krzysztof Pomian, Edward Balcerzan, Anna Wasilewska, Justyna Sobolewska, Andrzej Jagodziński, Adam Pomorski and Stanisław Rosiek. A new Jury will be appointed for each edition of the contest.

The Award is funded by the City of Gdańsk, and its partner is the City Culture Institute.

The Award’s patron, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, was a brilliant translator of French literature, as well as a doctor, historian, literary and theatrical critic, social journalist and writer. Jan Błoński dubbed him “the Shakespeare of translation”.
A handful of practical information:
a/ The winner of the Award will be appointed every two years; they shall be chosen from amongst the living translators from foreign languages into Polish.
b/ The contestants can be submitted on the basis of:
— singular works (books or cycles) published in Polish between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2014
— lifetime achievements (without publishing date limitations)
c/ Contestants can be proposed by both natural persons and legal entities; this includes:
— publishing houses
— cultural institutions
— literary media
— creative associations and unions
— universities
— writers, literary scholars and critics, translators
— members of the jury
Each of the aforementioned is allowed to nominate an unlimited number of candidates.
d/ The winner of the Award can be a single translator or a group of translators.
e/ Nominations should be submitted to the following address: Instytut Kultury Miejskiej, 80-830 Gdańsk, Długi Targ 39/40 with the header “Nagroda za Twórczość Translatorską|Translation Work Award”. Additional information can be obtained at the Institute’s Office, +58 7607216, e-mail: nagrodadlatlumacza@ikm.gda.pl
1. Nominations submission: 30th September 2014
2. Announcement of the nominees: 20th January 2015
3. The winner shall be announced during the Gdańsk Meetings of Literary Translators “Found in Translation”, taking place on 9–10 April 2015 in Gdańsk.

The Jury of the Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Work Award

Krzysztof Pomian — philosopher, historian, essayist. Graduate of the Philosophy Department at the University of Warsaw (doctorate in 1965, habilitation in May 1968). Removed from PZPR in 1966 and from the position of the adjunct at the Cathedral of the History of Modern Philosophy due to his public critique of the contemporary government. He worked in the Department of Manuscripts in the National Library (1969–1972). In 1973 he left for France to work at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), where he became professor (directeur de recherche) in 1984; simultaneously, he lectured at l’Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), in Ecole du Louvre, the University of Geneva and other universities. Currently, he is an emeritus research professor (directeur de recherche émérite) of the CNRS. In years 1999/2000–2006/07, he was a professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. Since January 2001, he is the science director of the Museum of Europe in Brussels. He is the foreign member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ateneo Veneto (Venice) and Accademia Clementina (Bologna).
Distinctions: the Order of Polonia Restituta (1993), the Order des Arts et des Lettres (2005), doctor honoris causa of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (2003) and the University of Geneva (2005).
Edward Balcerzan — literary theorist and critic, translator, poetry and prose writer. One of the chief Polish literary scholars, connected first to structuralism, then post–structuralism. In 1961 he graduated from the Polish Philology Department of the Adam Mickiewicz University and connected to Poznań since 1962. In 1968 he received his doctorate for the dissertation on the problems of bilingualism in works of Brunon Jasieński; habilitated in 1972, then received the title of associate professor (1985) and full professor (1990). Debuted as a poet in 1955. His poems were published in the “Ziemia i Morze” weekly. His works also include translations of Russian poets, e.g. Boris Pasternak and Gennadiy Aygi.
Anna Wasilewska — graduate of the French studies at the University of Warsaw. Since 1979 she works as an editor of “Literatura na Świecie”, presiding over the French and Italian sections thereof since 1992. She is responsible for a number of monographic issues focusing on particular writers or facets of literature. Translations include works of Umberto Eco, Georges Perec, Jacques Derrida, Jean Genet. Ever so often she writes critical texts. She has also published a volume of talks on French literature, Od Potockiego do Pereca. Pięć rozmów o literaturze francuskiej.
Justyna Sobolewska — literary critic, journalist of “Polityka” weekly. Previously she worked for “Przekrój” and “Dziennik”. Co–author of the book Jestem mamą (2004) and the anthology of short stories Projekt mężczyzna (2009). She’s a member of the jury of the “Angelus” Central Europe Literary Award and “Silesius” Wrocław Poetry Award. 2012 saw the publication of her book, Książka o czytaniu, czyli resztę dopisz sam. She lives in Warsaw.
Andrzej Jagodziński — graduate of the Slovak and Czech Philology, translator, journalist, editor. Former reporter of the Czechoslovak section of “Radio Free Europe”, correspondent of “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Prague and Bratislava, director of the Polish Institute in Prague and cultural counsel of the local Polish Embassy, director of the International Visegrád Fund, expert on the expansion of mBank on Czech and Slovak markets, editor of “Literatura na Świecie”. Currently he is the director of the Polish Institute in Bratislava. Translation works include Havel, Kundera, Skvorecki and Hrabal.
Adam Pomorski — translator, essayist, historian of ideas, chairman of the Polish PEN Club. Graduate of Sociology at the University of Warsaw. Translator of Russian poetry and prose, English, German, Belarussian and Ukrainian poetry. His distinctions include the Award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as the awards of Polish PEN Club, Polish Translators Society and “Literatura na Świecie” monthly for poetry translations.
Stanisław Rosiek — literature historian, essayist, publisher. Works at the Polish Philology Institute at the University of Gdańsk. Former editor of “Literaci”, “Punkt” and “Podpunkt”, as well as “Punkt po Punkcie” weekly. Co–editor of three volumes of “Transgresje” series (with Maria Janion). With Stefan Chwin he co–authored the book Bez autorytetu. Szkice (1981), for which he received the award of the Kościelscy Foundation in 1983. In the 90s, he was interested in the post–mortem cult of Adam Mickiewicz and the works of several 20th century writers (Peiper, Schulz, Białoszewski). Co–author of the Słownik schulzowski dictionary (2002) and a series of five textbooks for teaching Polish in high school. In 1995 he has founded the “słowo/obraz terytoria” publishing house.


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