Joanna Trzeciak is presented with the 5th Found in Translation Award for her sharp and incisive translation of poetry from Tadeusz Różewicz into English. The collection entitled Sobbing Superpower was released by th W.W. Nortn&Company publishing house in 2011
Joanna Trzeciak is presented with the 5th Found in Translation Award for her sharp and incisive translation of poetry from Tadeusz Różewicz into English. The collection entitled Sobbing Superpower was released by th W.W. Norton&Company publishing house in 2011
Trzeciak’s translation was recognised for its unique quality as well as the great significance of the translated text itself. The Sobbing Superpower collection is a 368-page volume of poetry by Tadeusz Różewicz, selected by Joanna Trzeciak. It borrows its title - Spłakane mocarstwo in the original - from one of Różewicz’s poems. The American literary critic and poet Edward Hirsch states in his introduction to the collection:
What a great pleasure it is to read the poetry by Różewicz in the precise and profound translation by Joanna Trzeciak. The translator has captured his witty way of negating the world, his determined articulation and abrupt turns, his inclination towards conversing, his well planned pauses, and his unsophisticated sophistication.
Hirsch names Różewicz an "Anti-poet, who speaks the truth in a ruthless manner, even if this truth is painful". The critic goes on to call him "A poet of dark refusals. A naked, impure poet. A poet speaking from the margins", and a "bemused seer of nothingness."
In the Summary released by W.W. Norton & Company, the collection is described with the following words:
Trzeciak’s stripped-down translation (as her foreword explains) tries to convey both Różewicz’s plain speech and his frequently intricate allusion to writers and works from Polish, German, Russian, and English, among them Franz Kafka and Ezra Pound. ‘Of course I try to write/ light carefree / even with my left foot/ but it’s tethered to a stone,’ a recent poem complains in a poetry able to incorporate almost anything, from headlines to the simplest sentences a child might say, which a disillusioned adult might need to hear again: ‘this is a man/ this is a tree this is bread// people eat to live.’
The Found in Translation Award is administered by the Book Institute and the Institutes of Polish Culture in London and New York and it is presented annually to the best transcriptions of Polish literature and poetry into English. The laureate of the prize is honoured with a sum of ten thousand złotych as well as a three-month scholarship stay in Kraków. The award is funded by the Warsaw-based Wydawnictwo WAB publishing company and it will be officially presented to Trzeciak on the 26th of October, 2012 at the Center for Slavic and East European Studies of the Ohio State University.
Previous laureates of the award include Bill Johnston, who was honoured for his transcription of Różewicz’s verses in the New Poems collection, Antonia Lloyd-Jones for English version of Paweł Huelle’s The Last Supper / Ostatnia wieczerza, Danuta Borchardt for Witold Gombrowicz’s Pornography and Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak for their work on a collection of poems by Wisława Szymborska entitled Here (Tutaj).
Joanna Trzeciak is a young translator of Polish literature. Notably, she has transcribed into English the Miracle Fair: Selected poems of Wisława Szymborska (2011), which won her the Heldt Translation Prize. Trzeciak also translated the writings of Stanisław Lem. She lives in the US, in Cleveland, Ohio. Joanna Trzeciak’s translation was also nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize earlier in 2012.
Sobbing superpower. Selected Poems of Tadeusz Różewicz
translated by Joanna Trzeciak
introduction by Edward Hirsch
W.W. Norton & Company 2011
165 x 245, 368 pgs, hardcover
Source: press release, books.wwnorton.com, PAP, culture.pl