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PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)

The $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation is conferred every year in New York. The award recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the current calendar year, and is judged by a single translator of poetry appointed by the PEN Translation Committee. The award was made possible originally by a bequest from the late translator and PEN member Rae Dalven, and has received current support from The Kaplen Foundation.

The PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, established in 1996, complements the PEN Translation Prize, which was founded in 1963 through the efforts of the PEN Translation Committee, and was the first American award to honor the art of the literary translator.

Past winners: Guy Davenport, Edward Snow, Eamonn Grennan, Richard Zenith, James Brasfield, Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld, Ian Fairley, Khaled Mattawa, Peter Cole, Pierre Joris, Wilson Baldridge, David Hinton, Rosmarie Waldrop, Marilyn Hacker, Anne Carson, Jen Hofer, Molly Weigel, Karen Emmerich and Edmund Keeley.

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2015 Awards

Submissions are now closed. This award will be offered again in 2016. Please check back in mid-2015 for submission details for the 2016 award.


Who is eligible
  • PEN will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents; translators/authors may not submit their own book for this award. 
  • Although all eligible books must have been published in the United States, translators may be of any nationality; U.S. residency or citizenship is not required.
  • Eligible books must have been published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. 
  • Submissions can be made by publishers, agents, or the translators themselves.
  • Self-published books and reprints are not eligible.
  • Retranslations are ineligible, unless the work can be said to provide a significant revision of the original translations.
  • Books with more than two translators are not eligible.
If you submit a book for this award, you may not submit it for any additional PEN American Center awards. 
How to apply
1. Please download the awards Declaration of Eligibility here. Complete all fields and have a company executive sign in order to confirm the book's eligibility. If eligible, please mail this form along with one copy of the book to PEN's office (see step 3).
2. Complete the awards online submission form. When submissions open, we will provide a link here to the award's online submission page. Each submission is $50. If you would like to pay by check, please enter CHECK in the coupon code field at checkout. Be sure to print your receipt. Please also submit a verified email address on the submission form; your order cannot be processed without an email address, as this info will be used to later contact you regarding the shipments of your submission. Please note that submission fees are not refundable.
3. Mail one copy of the candidate's book accompanied by the printed receipt to the address below between September 1, 2014 and November 14, 2014. Please note that we also accept galleys.
Award for Poetry in Translation
PEN American Center 
588 Broadway, Suite 303 
New York, NY 10012
4. Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility by PEN, you will be contacted by awards@pen.org before the end of the year and asked to ship one copy of the book to each of our awards judges. Please add awards@pen.org to your safe sender list.
Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $4 million. In order to have your dues waived, please have a company official write a letter on company letterhead stating that your press' annual net sales are less than $4 million. Please send this letter as an attachment (.doc or .pdf) to awards@pen.org. Once received, you will be provided with a coupon code to use at check-out in order to have your submission fees waived.