The most prestigious award for distinguished ambassadors of Polish literature abroad was this year presented to Antonia Lloyd-Jones, one of the most important translators of Polish literature into English. The prize was awarded by a board led by the Polish Book Institute director Dariusz Jaworski.
The laurel was presented today in the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology. This year Transatlantyk was awarded for the fourteenth time. The award was presented for the first time in May 2005 during the Congress of Polish Literature Translators to Henryk Bereska, who translated such giants of Polish literature as Jan Kochanowski, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Jerzy Andrzejewski, Stanisław Wyspiański i Tadeusz Różewicz. Received it then.
This year's prize was awarded by the following board: Stanley Bill, Laurence Dyèvre, Ewa Thompson, Maciej Urbanowski, Alois Woldan, led by the Polish Book Institute director Dariusz Jaworski.
The laudation in honour of the prizewinner was given by an Australian Stanley Bill, the director of Polish Studies at Cambridge University. Stanley Bill translated works of such authors as Czesław Miłosz, Jacek Dukaj, Łukasz Tishner and Michał Głowiński.
Antonia Lloyd Jones (born in 1962) studied Russian and Ancient Greek at Oxford. She received the prestigious Found in Translation Award twice – in 2009 for the transaltion of The Last Supper by Paweł Huelle, and a lifetime achievement award in 2012. She was interested in foreign languages since childhood, but she has only learnt Polish as an adult.
Her rich and exceptionally varied body of work includes over a hundred publications, such as novels by Jacek Dehnel, Paweł Huelle, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Zygmunt Miłoszewski, Żanna Słoniowska and Olga Tokarczuk. She also translated journalistic works of Jacek Hugo-Bader, Wojciech Jagielski, Witold Szabłowski, Mariusz Szczygieł and Wojciech Tochman, the famous Ryszard Kapuściński biography by Artur Domosławski, Inhuman Land by Józef Czapski, My Lwów by Józef Wittlin, Stanisław Barańczak's essays, poetry (by, amongst others, Krystyna Dąbrowska, Tadeusz Dąbrowski, Łukasz Jarosz, Adam Zagajewski, children's books (by classics such as Gałczyński, Korczak, Kraszewski and Tuwim), as well as collections of short stories and journalistic pieces, and theatre plays.
However, Antonia Lloyd-Jones's contribution to the promotion of Polish culture and literature is not limited to translation. Thanks to mentoring programs she already has four successors, who published their own translations (Garry Malloy, Sean Bye, Eliza Marciniak and a Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize winner, Tul’si Bhambry). Lloyd-Jones has also conducted many seminars for translators, co-organised literary programs in Polish culture institutions in New York and London, and also took part in the Market Focus Poland project organisation during the London Book Fair 2017 of which Poland was an honorary guest.
Lloyd-Jones is also a promoter of Olga Tokarczuk's works, many of which she translated. Thanks to her cooperation with Jennifer Croft (and the great translation by the latter), Tokarczuk was honoured with the prestigious Man Booker International Prize.
The Transatlantyk Prize is the Book Institute’s yearly award for great ambassadors of Polish literature abroad. It can be presented to translators, publishers, critics and cultural life animators.
The Transatlantyk Prize was presented for the first during the Congress of Polish Literature Translators, on May the 13th 2005 in the Juliusz Słowacki theatre. Currently, the prize is presented in June in Kraków, is worth 10.000 euros, and the winner also receives a commemorative diploma and a statue designed by Łukasz Kieferling.
The winners of the first thirteen editions are: Henryk Bereska (Germany), Anders Bodegård (Sweden), Albrecht Lempp (Germany), Ksenia Starosielska (Russia), Biserka Rajčić (Serbia), Pietro Marchesani (Italy), Vlasta Dvořáčková (the Czech Republic), Yi Lijun (China), Karol Lesman (Holland), Bill Johnston (the USA).