Jen Hofer receives the 2012 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

Posted on

Jun 06 2012

New York, June 6—The Academy of American Poets announced today that Jen Hofer has been chosen by the poet and translator Pierre Joris as the recipient of the 2012 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Hofer is being recognized for her translation of Myriam Moscona's Negro Marfil / Ivory Black (Les Figues Press, 2011). The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award is given to the best book of poetry translated from any language into English published in the previous year, and carries a prize of $1,000.

On selecting this volume for the award, Joris wrote:

Myriam Moscona's book Negro Marfil is a superbly orchestrated rhizomatic array of poems or, to quote the book, "an echo of shares." This process of writing through the echoic first set up by the title's ivory/black dynamic leads to a quest for new ordering principles while proposing a breath-taking & -giving investigation of sounds, colors, rhythms and forms. Arising from a first "translation" into words of the author's india-ink images & collages, the book has now been impeccably translated into English as Ivory Black by Jen Hofer, who also provides an excellent essay on the book & the translation.

Jen Hofer is a poet, translator, and bookmaker. Her publications include Lead & Tether (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011); one (Palm Press, 2009); The Route, a collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008), sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); and lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano's lobo de labio (Action Books, 2007).

In addition to teaching poetics in the MFA Writing Program at California Institute of the Arts, Hofer teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College and in the low-residency BFA Program at Goddard College. She also works as a social justice interpreter as part of Antenna: A Language Justice Collaborative, and is a founding member of the City of Angels Ladies' Bicycle Association, also known as The Whirly Girls.

Myriam Moscona is from Mexico, of Bulgarian Sephardic descent. She is the author of nine books, from Ultimo jardín (El Tucán de Virginia, México, 1983) to De par en par (Bonobos, México, 2009). Two of her published books are outside the realm of poetry, yet remain connected to poetry: De frente y de perfil (DDF, México, 1996), literary portraits of 75 Mexican poets, and De par en par, which explores the phenomenon of poetry beyond its traditional construction. When Negro marfil was conceived, Moscona focused on the use of visual materials (inks, pastels, graphite and acrylics), which led her to explore alternate means of expression. In this way she came to visual poetry: drawn in through the side doors of writing. Moscona has received numerous awards, including the Premio de Poesía Aguascalientes and the Premio Nacional de Traducción; she is a grantee of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, and she was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, and essayist who has published more than 40 books. His most recent books are Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader (Commonwealth Books, Black Widow, 2012), a translation of the poetry and prose of Habib Tengour, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between (Litteraria Pragensia Books, 2011), edited by Peter Cockelbergh. His forthcoming books include Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (Chax Press, 2012), Poems for the Millennium vol 4: The University of California Book of North African Literature (University of California Press, 2012), Aljibar America (Black Widow Press, 2013), and his translations of The Collected Late Poems of Paul Celan (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2013). Joris lives in New York City and teaches at the University of Albany, SUNY.

The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award was established at the Academy of American Poets in 1976 and is given to an American for a published translation of poetry from any language into English. Previous winners include Robert Fagles, David Ferry, Robert Fitzgerald, David Hinton, Anslem Hollo, Edmund Keeley, Galway Kinnell, Rika Lesser, Charles Martin, W. S. Merwin, Stephen Mitchell, Susanna Nied, Robert Pinsky, Andrew Schelling, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, W. D. Snodgrass, Edward Snow, and Rosmarie Waldrop. The award was established by Mrs. Harold Morton Landon in memory of her husband.

The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org.