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White Pine, BOA titles shortlisted for Best Translation Awards

White Pine Press has a long and distinguished history of publishing poetry in translation. For nearly four decades, the Buffalo-based independent press founded and edited by poet Dennis Maloney has published works by such luminaries as Pablo Neruda, Juan Ramon Jimenez, and Gabriela Mistral while helping introduce American readers to such important voices in world literature as Tomaz Transtromer of Sweden, Antonio Machado of Spain, Alfonsina Storni of Argentina, and Rolf Jacobsen of Norway.

While White Pine has also published a substantial number of important American poets and fiction writers, the art of contemporary literature in translation remains a key element of its mission.

Just 90 miles east in Rochester, perennial award-winning BOA Editions Ltd. has followed the equally ambitious agenda of its founder -- the legendary poet-publisher Al Poulin, Jr. (1938-1996) -- by including world poetry in translation in its diverse catalog of voices representing excellence in a wide range of poetic traditions.  BOA is also the publisher of Buffalo area natives Kazim Ali, the late Lucille Clifton, and the late UB poet-professor John Logan.

 

Both White Pine and BOA are well represented in the shortlist of books nominated for the 2010 Best Translated Book Awards in Fiction and Poetry announced this past Wednesday at Idlewild Books in New York City by the Three Percent project sponsored by The University of Rochester's Open Letters Books.

 

White Pine Press is the publisher of two of the ten finalists for the 2010 Best Translated Book Award in Poetry for KB: The Suspect by Lithunian poet Marcelijus Martinaitis (translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vince) and Scale and Stairs by Korean poet Heeduk Ra (translated from the Korean by Woo-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill).

 

BOA Editions Ltd. is the publisher of another one of the ten poetry finalists Dark Things by Serbian poet Novica Tadic (translated from the Serbian by former U.S. poet laureate Charles Simic).

 

The Three Percent project was established in 2007 by the University of Rochester's Open Letter Books to promote broader awareness and readership of poetry and fiction in translation in the United States.  According to R.R. Bowker LLC, the official ISBN agency in the United States and the publisher of Books in Print, only 3% of all books published in the U.S. over the past decade represent works of foreign language literature translated into English.

 

The complete list of 2010 BTBA nominees in fiction are (in alphabetical order): 

 

César Aira, Ghosts.
Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.
(Argentina, New Directions Press)

 

Gerbrand Bakker, The Twin.
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer.
(Netherlands, Archipelago Books)

 

Ignácio de Loyola Brandão, Anonymous Celebrity.
Translated from the Portuguese by Nelson Vieira.
(Brazil, Dalkey Archive Press)

 

Hugo Claus, Wonder.
Translated from the Dutch by
Michael Henry Heim.
(Belgium, Archipelago Press)


Wolf Haas, The Weather Fifteen Years Ago.
Translated from the German by
Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen.
(Austria, Ariadne Press)

 

Gail Hareven, The Confessions of Noa Weber.
Translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu.
(Israel, Melville House)

 

Jan Kjærstad, The Discoverer.
Translated from the Norwegian
by Barbara Haveland.
(Norway, Open Letter)

 

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Memories of the Future.
Translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull.
(Russia, New York Review Books)

 

José Manuel Prieto, Rex.
Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen.
(Cuba, Grove)

 

Robert Walser, The Tanners.
Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky.
(Switzerland, New Directions)


The ten poetry finalists are (in alphabetical order):


Nicole Brossard, Selections.
Translated from the French by Guy Bennett, David
Dea, Barbara Godard, Pierre Joris, Robert Majzels,
Erin Moure, Jennifer Moxley, Lucille Nelson, Larry
Shouldice, Fred Wah, Lisa Weil, Anne-Marie Wheeler.
(Canada, University of California)

 

René Char, The Brittle Age and Returning Upland.
Translated from the French by Gustaf Sobin.
(France, Counterpath)

 

Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another.
Translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah.
(Palestine, FSG)

 

Elena Fanailova, The Russian Version.
Translated from the Russian by
Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler.
(Russia, Ugly Duckling Presse)

 

Hiromi Ito, Killing Kanoko.
Translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles.
(Japan, Action Books)

 

Marcelijus Martinaitis, KB: The Suspect.
Translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vince.
(Lithuania, White Pine)


Heeduk Ra, Scale and Stairs.
Translated from the Korean by
Woo-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill.
(Korea, White Pine)

 

Novica Tadic, Dark Things.
Translated from the Serbian by Charles Simic.
(Serbia, BOA Editions)

 

Liliana Ursu, Lightwall.
Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter.
(Romania, Zephyr Press)

 

Wei Ying-wu, In Such Hard Times.
Translated from the Chinese by Red Pine.
(China, Copper Canyon)

 

---R.D. Pohl

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