“Writers create national literatures and translators create a universal literature. Without translators, we writers would be nothing, condemned as we would be to living within the confines of our own language. We are all translated and we are all translators.”

José Saramago quoted in La Nación (Buenos Aires) on May 2, 2003

37th John Glassco Translation Prize Winner Announced

It was with great pride and joy that the LTAC , during the November 26 premiere of the 2021 Glassco Gala, revealed Luba Markovskaia’s Notes de terrain pour la toundra alpine as the 37th winner of the John Glassco Translation Prize.

This year, we received French and English translations from French, English and Spanish. The genres covered were fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

With Notes de terrain pour la toundra alpine (French version of Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra by Elena Johnson), Luba Markovskaia has produced a translation that is at once learned, original and singular. The presence of an extensive paratextual apparatus – introduction, interview with the poetess, chronology – radically transforms the book as an object. Thus, this French translation offers, in a sense, a brand-new book, enhanced by a series of interventions from the translator which, on the one hand, enlighten our reading of the poems, and on the other, underline the importance of the translator’s active work in the dissemination, interpretation and reception of the work. The jury was also impressed by the work on sound and by a certain harshness of language, a reflection of the harshness of the original text, which in turn reflects the harshness of the Yukon landscapes represented in the collection. Markovskaia’s translation implores us to follow her work closely, both in her future translation choices and in her thinking about translation and literature.

The selection jury was presided by professor and LTAC executive Arianne Des Rochers, an accomplished translator and scholar who was shortlisted for a Governor General award in 2020.

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2021 Translation Residency

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