Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders fosters cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.
Words Without Borders is pleased to announce the 2020 Poems in Translation Contest to spotlight some of the groundbreaking poets working around the world today and to celebrate the art of translating poetry.
The contest is open to contemporary international poetry translated from other languages into English. Four winning translated poems will be co-published on Words Without Borders, the digital magazine for international literature, and in Poem-a-Day, the popular daily poetry series produced by the Academy of American Poets, throughout September, which is National Translation Month.
The winning poems will be selected by acclaimed poet David Tomas Martinez, along with the editors of Words Without Borders.
The winning poets and translators will be awarded $150 each. (In the case of multiple translators, the translator award shall be split evenly.)
Submissions will be accepted through midnight June 1, 2020. We regret that, due to the high number of submissions we receive, only winners will be contacted.
Guidelines for submissions:
1. Entries must be submitted by translators and include both original language texts and translations.
2. Only poems translated from languages other than English are eligible.
3. Only first English translations will be considered. Retranslations of poems already available in English are not eligible.
4. Translations must be unpublished.
5. Translations must not be under contract for publication.
6. Authors of original poems must be living.
7. Translators must have confirmed that English translation rights are available.
8. Translators may submit up to three poems. (All three poems need not have the same author.)
9. Individual poems must not exceed forty lines.
10. Submissions must include brief bios for authors and translators.