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American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Competition for 2015 Opens


January 22, 2015

Winner for 2014 is Jonelle Kristensen – 

The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) in New York has announced the opening of its 35th Annual Translation Competition for the most outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Scandinavian author born after 1800. Two prizes are offered: the Nadia Christensen Prize, which includes a $2,500 award and the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize, given to an individual whose literature translations have not previously been published, which includes a $2,000 award. Both prizes also include publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review (the ASF’s illustrated journal) and a commemorative bronze medallion. For further information or to apply, visit apply.amscan.org.

Jonelle Kristensen was selected for the 2014 Nadia Christensen Prize for her translation of poetry by Danish writer Thorkild Bjørnvig. Ms. Kristensen is an American-born retired high school teacher who taught for three decades, first at a high school in the U.S., and for many years at a folk high school in Denmark.

Commenting on her work, the Translation Prize jury noted, “Displaying a deep affinity for the beauty of the poet’s words, the translator has masterfully recreated in English the rhythm and urgency of Thorkild Bjørnvig’s magnificent poems, which deplore the devastation of the natural world. Compelling and emotionally charged, these poems by a major Scandinavian writer-now in English for the first time-carry a message that is as relevant today as when they were first published.”

Thorkild Bjørnvig (1918-2004) was the author of a number of books of poetry as well as essays about international authors and several autobiographical series. He was also the co-founder of the literary magazine, Heretica. A selection of these poems will appear in Scandinavian Review in 2015.

Since its incorporation in New York City in 1911, the ASF has served as the leading cultural and educational link between the United States and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Established by a group of forward-thinking leaders from business and education, the ASF has worked since its earliest years to promote Nordic literature, music, art, and to strengthen international understanding. The ASF has awarded translation prizes since 1980, and through its annual competition, has recognized the work of more than 50 translators.

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