This Friday, June 22nd, at 7.00 pm at the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Cracow, the Transatlantyk Prize will be presented for the fourteenth time – it is the annual award of the Polish Book Institute for an eminent promoter of Polish literature abroad. Its laureate can be a translator, publisher, critic, or the animator of cultural life.
The award was presented for the first time in 2005 during the Conference of Polish Literature Translators. The award was given to Henryk Bereska, the translator of such giants of Polish literature as Jan Kochanowski, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Jerzy Andrzejewski, Stanisław Wyspiański, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, and Tadeusz Różewicz. The award is worth 10,000 euros; moreover, the winner receives a commemorative certificate and a statuette by Łukasz Kieferling.
So far, this prestigious award was given to such outstanding personalities as Anders Bodegård, Albrecht Lempp, Ksenia Starosielska, Biserka Rajčić, Pietro Marchesani, Vlasta Dvořáčková, Yi Lijun, Karol Lesman, Bill Johnston, and Laurence Dyèvre Constantin Geambaşu. Last year, the Transatlantic was awarded to a Hungarian, Lajos Pálfalvi, one of the most eminent translators of Polish literature in the world, the author of nearly sixty translations, who translated into Hungarian, among others, the classics like Władysław Reymont, Józef Mackiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz, Sławomir Mrożek, as well as contemporary Polish novels by Andrzej Stasiuk, Krzysztof Varga, and Olga Tokarczuk, to name a few.
This year, the winner will be chosen by a board consisting of Stanley Bill, Laurence Dyèvre, Ewa Thompson, Maciej Urbanowski, and Alois Woldan. Dariusz Jaworski, the chairman of the Polish Book Institute, will preside.
2005 - Henryk Bereska (Germany) – originally from Silesia, a prominent translator of Polish literature into German;
2006 - Anders Bodegård (Sweden) – translator and populariser of Polish literature in Sweden, well-known in Poland;
2007 - Albrecht Lempp (Germany) – assisted in Poland's success as an Honorary Guest at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt, translator of, among others, Głowacki and Pilch;
2008 - Ksenia Starosielska (Russia) – translator of the works of Polish prose writers into Russian since 1960s;
2009 - Biserka Rajčić (Serbia) – translator of Polish poets, philosophers, literary scholars; she is an expert of the Polish avant-garde;
2010 - Pietro Marchesani (Italy) – a prominant promoter of the works of Wisława Szymborska in Italy;
2011 - Vlasta Dvořáčková (Czech Republic) –distinguished populariser of Polish poetry in the Czech Republic;
2012 - Yi Lijun (China) – literary scholar, translator of, among others, ‘Dziady”, ‘Trilogy’, and ‘The Captive Mind”;
2013 - Karol Lesman (Netherlands) – expert on Witkacy, he translated the canon of Polish prose into Dutch;
2014 - Bill Johnston (USA) – remarkable expert and promoter of Polish contemporary literature, but also poetical classics of the 19th century; equally contributed to American success of the novel by Myśliwski;
2015 - Laurence Dyèvre (France) – a translator with about sixty translations to her name, mainly Polish contemporary prose, spanning the whole of the 20th century.
2016 - Constantin Geambaşu (Romania) – translator and graduate of Polish philology, with about fifty Polish books published in the most prestigious Romanian publishing houses.
2017 - Lajos Pálfalvi (Hungary) – a literary historian, critic, one of the most prominent translators of Polish literature, with nearly sixty published book translations of Polish fiction, and great promoter of the works of Józef Mackiewicz.