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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, and Eliza Griswold

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2016 Awards

Submissions closed on August 15, 2015. This award will be offered again during the 2017 PEN Awards cycle, for which submissions will open in mid-2016. 

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, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Books published after the August 15, 2015 submission deadline may be submitted as galleys.
  • 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. Please note that the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Hemingway Awards are not considered 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. As submissions have closed, the form has been deactivated. Each submission is $50.* If you would like to pay by check, please enter CHECK in the coupon code field at checkout. Checks should be made out to PEN American Center. 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 to the address below during the open submission period. 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 [email protected] before the end of the year and asked to ship one copy of the book to each of our awards judges. Please add [email protected] 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 fees 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 [email protected]. Once received, you will be provided with a coupon code to use at check-out in order to have your submission fees waived. One fee waiver may be used for all 2016 PEN Awards; you do not need to submit a separate fee waiver for each award.