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. On her jury mates, as well as the selection process, Des Rochers writes:
“This year, for the 37th edition of the John Glassco Award, I was able to count on a curious, dynamic and rigorous jury, composed of Nicolas Calvé, Alex Gauthier and Aleshia Jensen, all three members of the LTAC and experienced translators. Nicolas Calvé has translated dozens of essays, notably for Lux Éditeur and Éditions du Boréal. He has translated, among others, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky, and received a nomination for the 2019 GG awards for his translation of Charles Taylor’s L’animal langage : la compétence linguistique humaine. Alex Gauthier has co-translated several essays, and now does bilingual editing for Mémoire d’encrier. He holds a master’s degree in translation from Concordia University, where he worked on the translation of Irvine Welsch’s work. Finally, Aleshia Jensen has a dozen titles to her credit. She specialises in the translation of comics and graphic novels, but also translates fiction. She was nominated for the Governor General Awards and the Cole Foundation Award in 2019 for her translation Explosions: Michael Bay and the Pyrotechnics of the Imagination by Mathieu Poulin.
“The jury met for the first time at the end of August to determine its mandate. At the end of September, after a month of reading and evaluating the submitted translations, the jury met virtually to deliberate. It was an honour for me to watch the jury discuss the eligible translations with skill, seriousness and passion. The love of the profession was palpable, both in the rigorous work of the jury and in the translations, which we read with great interest. The next generation of translators is undoubtedly highly competent and ingenious; we look forward to seeing what the translators who submitted their texts this year have in store for us, and we look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.”
We wish to offer a heartfelt thank you to all the prize entrants, as well as to the members of the selection jury. And we would also like to once again congratulate Luba for her terrific work.