New York, June 5—Poet and translator Patrick Barron has received the Raiziss/de Palchi Prize from the Academy of American Poets for his translations in The Selected Poetry and Prose of Andrea Zanzotto (University of Chicago Press). This $5,000 award is given every other year for the translation into English of significant work of modern Italian poetry. The judges for the award were Eamon Grennan, Michael F. Moore, and Emanuel di Pasquale.
Juror Eamon Grennan writes of the translation:
Andrea Zanzotto is not only Italy’s most richly accomplished living poet, but one of the great luminaries of modern European, and indeed world, poetry. As a poet he has kept pace in his shifting language-registers to the expanding and self-transforming evolution of his own restless, attentive, infinitely curious consciousness. In this splendidly comprehensive selection, Patrick Barron and his translator colleagues have also kept pace, admirably, with the demands of their endlessly mobile originals...this single, handsomely produced volume should bring the Italian poet into the bloodstream and mind-stream of contemporary literature in English. It is a great and gratifying gift to Anglophone readers and writers (especially poets) alike.
Patrick Barron was born in Washington D.C., in 1968, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He has an M.A. from Queen's University Belfast and a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to the 2007 Raiziss/de Palchi Prize, he has also received awards from the American Academy in Rome (the Rome Prize), the Fulbright Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His other books include Italian Environmental Literature: An Anthology (Italica, 2003). His poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in publications such as Poetry East, Forum Italicum, Two Lines, Paideuma, Italica, and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets. He lives with his wife in Boston, where he is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts.
Andrea Zanzotto is widely considered Italy's most influential living poet. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry and prose, which cover a vast range of themes, from linguistics and nature to politics and science. A lifelong resident of the hilly farm country of the Veneto, he possesses a rare familiarity with place, and his writings frequently explore the ongoing tensions between nature and culture in his native village, the surrounding countryside, and the nearby remnants of ancient forests. The rare writer in Italy to straddle both historical and geographical boundaries, Zanzotto also speaks in a voice that acknowledges Italy's dramatic transformation from an agrarian society to an industrialized nation.
The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards Fund was established by a bequest to the New York Community Trust by Sonia Raiziss Giop, a poet, translator, and long-time editor of the literary magazine Chelsea. In addition to the $5,000 book prize, the fund supports a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternate years for the translation into English of modern Italian poetry. The Academy of American Poets invites applications from American translators currently engaged in the translation of twentienth-century Italian poetry. The deadline for submissions to the 2009 Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship is November 1, 2008. For guidelines please visit our website at www.poets.org/awards.
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; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and an 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 $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information visit www.poets.org.