Anselm Hollo and Charles Martin Receive the 2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

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Jun 05 2004

New York City, June 5, 2004--The Academy of American Poets announced today that Anselm Hollo and Charles Martin are the co-winners of the Academy's 2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for their respective translations of Pentii Saarikoski's Trilogy (La Alameda Press, 2003) and Ovid's Metamorphoses (W. W. Norton, 2003). Poet and translator Rika Lesser served as judge. Mr. Hollo and Mr. Martin will share a prize of $1,000.

On selecting these volumes for the award, Ms. Lesser wrote:

As the twenty-fifth judge of the Harold Morton Landon Poetry Translation Prize, I am the sixth to split the award between two wholly deserving poet translators of distinctive works. One volume is a barrel of golden apples, the other a nesting place for a very rare bird....Charles Martin gives us his complete Metamorphoses in a fluid pentameter that by turns is - and always seems fittingly - splendid, supple, witty, serious, elegant, graceful, thrilling, dashing, or amusing....Hollo has translated [Trilogy] with all the immediacy, the playful and serious directness, the same tone and quality of mind, the same sense of movement, of walking, that I find and admire in the Swedish versions I have read and reread over the last twenty years.

Anselm Hollo is the author of more than thirty books, most recently the essay collection Caws & Causeries and Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000, which received the San Francisco Poetry Center's Book Award for 2001. Hollo's work has been widely anthologized and translated into Finnish, French, German, Swedish, and Hungarian. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, two grants from The Fund for Poetry, and the Government of Finland's Distinguished Foreign Translator's Award. A native of Helsinki, Finland, he has lived in the United States since 1967, teaching poetics and translation at colleges and universities. He is a Professor of Writing and Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where he lives with his wife, visual artist Jane Dalrymple-Hollo.

Charles Martin is a poet and translator. His most recent book of poems, Starting From Sleep: New and Selected Poems, published in July 2002 by the Sewanee Writers Series/The Overlook Press, was chosen as a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Award of the Academy of American Poets. His other books of poems include Steal the Bacon and What the Darkness Proposes, both published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and both nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His translation of the poems of Catullus has also been published by Johns Hopkins, and his critical introduction to the poet's work appears as one of the volumes in the Yale University Press's Hermes Series. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Hudson Review, Boulevard, The Threepenny Review, and in many other magazines and anthologies. He is the recipient of a Bess Hokin Award from Poetry, a 2001 Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A professor at Queensborough Community College (CUNY), he has recently taught workshops at the Sewanee Writers Conference, the West Chester Conference on Form and Narrative in Poetry, and the Unterberg Center of the 92nd Street YMHA.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rika Lesser is a poet and translator of Swedish and German literature. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Etruscan Things (Braziller, 1983), All We Need of Hell (North Texas University Press, 1995), and Growing Back: Poems 1972 - 1992 (The University of South Carolina Press, 1997). She is also celebrated for her translations of poetry. For Guide to the Underworld by Gunnar Ekelöf (The University of Massachusetts Press, 1980), she was awarded the Harold Morton Landon Poetry Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Poems from A Child Is Not a Knife: Selected Poems of Göran Sonnevi (Princeton, 1993) received the American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize. What Became Words (Sun & Moon, 1996) is Lesser's selection of poems by jazz pianist, politician, and psychiatrist Claes Andersson, formerly Finland's minister of culture. She has also published selections of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and Hermann Hesse, and various works of fiction and nonfiction.

The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award was established at the Academy of American Poets in 1976 as a biennial prize given to an American for a published translation of poetry from any language into English. Since 1984 the competition has been held annually. Previous winners include Mark Anderson, William Arrowsmith, Saralyn R. Daly, Guy Davenport, John DuVal, Robert Fagles, Robert Fitzgerald, Cola Franzen, Martin Greenberg, Peter Hargitai, David Hinton, Edmund Keeley, Galway Kinnell, Rika Lesser, Stephen Mitchell, Howard Norman, 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 more information on the Academy and its programs, visit