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The Stephen Spender Prize 2019 and Polish Spotlight 2019

The 2019 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation is open for entries. The deadline is Friday 12 July. The categories for the main prize are 14-and-under, 18-and-under and Open (adult), and will be judged by Mary Jean Chan, Margaret Jull Costa and Olivia McCannon.

We are also delighted to be running our 'Polish Spotlight' for a second year, with workshops in schools and a special prize for translation from Polish in the categories 10-and-under, 14-and-under and 18-and-under.

You can read all about last year's Polish Spotlight here and about last year's prize for poetry in translation here.

The Polish Spotlight is generously supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

The Impact of Creative Translation in the Classroom

What is the impact of our creative translation workshops on young language-learners and on speakers of English as an Additional Language? How do they promote creative writing and enhance literacy skills? What impact do they have on cohesion within multilingual classes, and on the status of multilingualism in schools?

Read all about it in the evaluation report on our Creative Translation in the Classroom and Polish Spotlight workshops in 2018.

New Director of the Trust appointed

The Stephen Spender Trust is very pleased to announce the appointment of Charlotte Ryland as the new Director of the Trust, beginning March 26th 2018.

Following a doctorate at UCL on the poet Paul Celan, Charlotte moved to Oxford to become Lecturer in German at The Queen's College. She is the editor of 'New Books in German', the project that promotes German-language literature internationally. She is also Postdoctoral Researcher on the 'Writing Brecht' project based in Oxford, which draws to a close this year. Charlotte has published widely on post-Holocaust literature (including the monograph Paul Celan's Encounters with Surrealism) and has edited student editions of German plays for Methuen Drama. Her translation of a dramatic fragment by Brecht is forthcoming in a volume co-edited with Tom Kuhn (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Charlotte is committed to languages outreach and to widening participation at university level, and was the founding co-ordinator of the Oxford German Network, the first university-led cultural network. She is currently researching the use of literature and translation in schools outreach. Charlotte lives with her family in Oxford.

David Rogers, Chair of the Trustees says: "We are hugely excited to have Charlotte joining us as Director. The unique combination of expertise and talents that she brings to the role will not only ensure the continued success of our established initiatives but it also promises to help the Trust open up new areas of Spender's influence to the public and the academic world."

Charlotte says: "I am delighted to be joining the Stephen Spender Trust, and look forward to building on its excellent work with international literature and translation. Spender's own focus on bridging cultures and giving a voice to international writers is reflected perfectly in the Trust's activities, and this focus feels as important now as it did during his lifetime."

Call-out to Translators

Translators in Schools is looking to appoint 4 translators to enable teachers to co-deliver original projects around creative translation-in-the-classroom, commencing 8 June 2017. More...

The West Midlands Big Translate

On 8 June five graduates of the Translators in Schools programme visited lovely Short Wood Primary in Wellington, near Telford, and amid a waving sea of cow parsley helped the children to discover what translation involves, what happens to books when they make the journey from one language (and culture) to another, and how languages and translated literature enrich our lives. The children told us it was 'the best day of their lives', that translation was 'awesome' and that they never realised they could become expert translators from Russian (or Polish, or Croatian or French) in a day! Thank you to the Mercers' Company for their funding.

Translators in Schools

Watch the Translators in Schools film and read about this hands-on training programme that gives translators, teachers and teaching assistants the skills and creative confidence to run imaginative translation workshops in schools, enabling them to use translation as a way into creative writing and as a bridge to exploring literature in other languages.

The Children's Bookshow

Stephen Spender Prize winner Joshua James joined Kevin Crossley-Holland and Daniel Hahn at the Children's Bookshow to lead an Anglo-Saxon translation workshop based on Kevin Crossley-Holland's The Exeter Book Riddles. More...

The Big Translate

On 6 October in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, 60 schoolchildren from four local primary schools translated into English ten strikingly illustrated books from around the world in workshops led by translators from the Translators in Schools programme. Read more about Translators in Schools.

Stephen Spender Prize anniversary readings, 12 March 2015

Listen to Noma Dumezweni, Patricia Hodge and Michael Pennington reading 26 Spender Prize-winning translations.

A House in St John's Wood: In Search of my Parents

Matthew Spender's intimate portrait of Stephen and Natasha Spender draws on his personal memories and unpublished material found in the north London house his parents had rented since 1941. It is published in the UK by William Collins and in the USA by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

"My God! What a childhood. What insight" Stephen Frears

Translation Nation: inspiring language-learning and celebrating linguistic diversity in primary and secondary schools

Translation Nation is a double award-winning project which aims to inspire in children and young people a lifelong interest in literature and culture from around the world. It promotes pride in and enthusiasm for the many languages that are spoken and taught in UK schools, instils recognition of the important role translation plays in our lives, and encourages an enjoyment of literary English and the nuances of the English language.