The Sarah Maguire Prize

About the Sarah Maguire Prize

The Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation has been established in the memory of Sarah Maguire (1957-2017), the founder of the Poetry Translation Centre and champion of international poetry.

The prize will be awarded every two years for the best book of poetry from a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East in English translation, published anywhere in the world. Winning poets and translators will divide a prize of £3,000.

The aim of the prize is to showcase the very best contemporary poetry from around the world, and to champion the art of poetry translation.

The prize is open for submissions until 31st January 2020. Find out more about how to enter below.

The Judges

Alireza Abiz

Alireza Abiz

Alireza Abiz is an Iranian poet, literary critic and translator. He is an award-winning translator and has translated some leading English language poets including W.B. Yeats, Ted Hughes, Basil Bunting, Derek Walcott, Allen Ginsberg and C.K. Williams into Persian. Abiz has written extensively on Persian contemporary literature and culture and published five collections of poetry. His sixth collection, The Desert Monitor, is forthcoming.

Leo Boix

Leo Boix

Leo Boix is a Latino British poet, translator and journalist based in the UK. He has published two collections in Spanish, Un lugarpropio and Mar de noche, and has been included in many anthologies, such as Ten: Poets of the New Generation and Why Poetry?. His English poems have appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, PN Review and elsewhere. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works program and co-director of ‘Invisible Presence’, a scheme to nurture Latino poets in the UK.

Ida Hadjivayanis

Ida Hadjivayanis

Ida Hadjivayanis is a translator originally from Zanzibar. She has lived in Dar es Salaam, Paris, Maseru, Conakry, Khartoum and Rome. She studied at the National University of Lesotho, Middlesex University and SOAS. Hadjivayanis is the author of Alisi ndani ya nchi ya ajabu, a Swahili translation of Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She is currently involved in the production of the first anthology of Swahili translations.

Who can apply?

Who can apply?

  • Books can only be submitted by their publishers.
  • We will not accept self-published entries, or entries submitted by poets or translators.

Which books are eligible?

  • Books must be the work of a single living poet writing in a language other than English whose work has been translated into English.
  • The poet can be resident anywhere in the world but must originate from, and publicly identify as being from, Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.
  • Books must have an ISBN number.
  • Books can be published anywhere in the world, but the rights for sale in the UK must be in place.
  • Books must have been published between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2019.
  • At least 50% of the translations in the book must not have been published before in book form.

Read the full terms and conditions below.

If you have any queries about whether you or your books are eligible for the prize, please contact us via info@poetrytranslation.org.

Apply now

Before entering the prize, please make sure you read the full terms and conditions and check that your entry is admissible.

Apply now

If you have technical difficulties completing the online entry form, please email support@submittable.com. If you are unable to complete the online entry form for other reasons, please contact us via info@poetrytranslation.org.

About Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire (1957-2017) was the founder of the Poetry Translation Centre and a champion of international poetry.

During a varied career, Sarah worked as a gardener, in prisons, as a Royal Literary Fund fellow at SOAS University of London, and presenting cultural discussions for the BBC. She was a prominent voice within contemporary poetry; publishing several collections including: Spilt Milk (1991), The Invisible Mender (1997), The Florist’s at Midnight (2002), The Pomegranates of Kandahar (2007) and a volume of selected poems, Almost the Equinox (2015).

In the mid-1990s, Sarah was approached by the British Council to be the first writer they sent on outreach trips to Palestine (1996) and Yemen (1998). It was on these visits, encountering Arabic poetry that Maguire developed her passion for poetry translation. She said of the experience: ‘When I arrived in Palestine and first encountered Palestinian poets, I became aware that it was in my power to do something important. Working with poets and translators to present translations in English of Palestinian poetry was possible, and there was hope that the influence of these translations would be far-reaching on readers of English.’

Maguire became a passionate advocate for poetry and translation. In 2004 she established the Poetry Translation Centre and remained as it’s director until shortly before her death.

The Sarah Maguire Prize was established with the support of Sarah’s family and friends to celebrate her passion for international poetry and champion the art of translation.

FAQs

Why should I enter my book to the Sarah Maguire Prize?

The Sarah Maguire Prize aims to raise the profile of contemporary poetry in English translation. We will publish a selection of chosen poems in an anthology which will be distributed to English readers and audiences in order to promote the selected poets, translators and their books. Winning poets and translators will each win a £1,500 prize. Additionally, shortlisted poets, translators and publishers will all be invited to a UK award ceremony, for which some travel subsidy is available. Press and marketing support will be available to shortlisted publishers, to help promote the selected books.

Is there a cost to entering prize?

No. The prize is free to enter.

Will you request hard copies of my book in order to enter?

We only require PDF copies of the book to submit it for the prize. We will request 7 copies of shortlisted titles to pass on to the judges and for marketing purposes.

I am a poet, how can I enter the prize?

The Sarah Maguire Prize is only open to submissions from publishers. If you would like your book to be considered, then you will need to speak to your publisher and encourage them to enter.

My book is published outside of the eligible dates, or due to be published in 2020, can I enter?

The prize is only open to books published between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2019. However, we will open the prize again in 2021 for books published in 2020 and 2021. Please check back for further details.

My book is not published in the UK, is it eligible?

Books do not have to be published in the UK, however the publisher must hold the rights for sale of the book in the UK, as well as having obtained all necessary permissions to publish the book in the English language.

Is there a cap on the number of entries publishers can submit?

No. Provided books are eligible, then publishers can enter multiple titles.

Can judges call in books that have not been submitted?

Yes. If judges come across a book in their own reading, which they would like to consider for the prize, they may call this in.

My book contains translations of a single poet but taken from a number of their original-language collections. Is it still eligible?

Books submitted can be collected or selected works rather than a translation of a single collection. However, at least 50% of the translations in the book must not have been published before in book form. Therefore if your title brings together translations that have all been published previously in English then it will not be eligible.

My book contains the work of several poets. Is it eligible?

No. Books must be the work of a single poet

My books is a short pamphlet. Is it eligible?

All books must have at least 48 pages and a valid ISBN number.

My books is only available as an e-book. Is it eligible?

No. Books must be published as physical publications.

The original-language poet is originally from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East, but currently resides outside of these areas. Is a translation of their work still eligible?

The poet can be resident anywhere in the world but must originate from, and publicly identify as being from, Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East. Eligibility will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The original-language poet was born outside of Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East, but currently resides inside these areas. Is the translation of their work still eligible?

The work may be eligible if the poet publicly identify as being from, Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East. Eligibility will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to discuss the eligibility, please contact us.

The translator of the book is from and/or based outside of Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East. Is my book still eligible?

It is the origin of the original-language poet which decides the eligibility of a book. The translator can be from or based anywhere in the world.

My book has multiple translators, or includes the work of bridge translators. Is my book still eligible?

Yes. Books can be translated by any number of translators, and including collaborative translation processes. In such instances the translators prize fee will be split between all translators.

What is the Poetry Translation Centre’s role in selecting the winner?

The Poetry Translation Centre pick the judges for the Sarah Maguire Prize, and will adjudicate on eligibility based on the published rules. In all cases PTC’s ruling on the eligibility or ineligibility of a book will be final and binding. If you’d like to discuss whether a title is eligible, please contact us.

The judges will independently decide on the shortlist and the winner. The decision of the judges is final and they will not enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions. The judges reserve the right not to award the Prize if, in their opinion, no works entered reach a sufficiently high standard.

Who should I contact if I have a query about the prize?

If you have a query or would like to find out more, please contact us via info@poetrytranslation.org.

Rules

Rules and Conditions of Entry for the Sarah Maguire Poetry in Translation Prize 2020.

The Prize

The Sarah Maguire Poetry in Translation Prize will be offered biennially for the best book of poetry in English translation by a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East, published anywhere in the world. £1,500 will be awarded to the winning poet and £1,500 to the winning translator (or shared if there is more than one translator).

Eligibility

a) The book must have been first published in English between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2019.

b) The book can be published in any country but the rights for sale in the UK must be in place.

c) The Publisher must hold and/or have cleared all necessary permissions to publish the book in the English language including the rights for sale of the book in the UK and be able to evidence this if requested.

d) The book must be the work of a single poet writing in a language other than English whose work has been translated into English.

e) The poet can be resident anywhere in the world but must originate from, and publicly identify as being from, Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.

f) The book must be the work of a living poet. A posthumous collection will only be eligible if it has been published within one year of the poet’s death.

g) At least 50% of the translations in the book must not have been published before in book form.

h) A book shall be defined as having at least 48 pages and with a valid ISBN number in its country of publication.

i) Books must be physical publications. Books that are only available in e-format are not eligible for entry.

j) The book must be submitted by the publisher. Entries from individual poets or translators of their own work will not be accepted. This includes any books that have been self-published.

k) In all cases, the organiser’s ruling on the eligibility or ineligibility of a book will be final and binding.

Submissions

a) All entries must be submitted electronically through the Poetry Translation Centre’s Submittable entry page, with completed entry forms and a PDF of the book. Books must be submitted by the publisher.

b) The last date for submission will be 31st January 2020.

Shortlist

a) The judges will select a shortlist of five books which will be announced in late February 2020.

b) If in the judges’ opinion there are more titles worthy of recognition, the number of shortlisted books may be increased but will comprise of not more than seven books.

c) If an entry is shortlisted the publisher agrees to supply seven bound copies of the book by 15th March 2020 to the Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8 4AG, UK.

d) Copies of books submitted to the Prize will not be returned.

e) Shortlisted and winning poets and translators will be expected to be available for publicity near the time of the awards and where possible to attend the award ceremony. Poets and translators may also be filmed and recorded at the ceremony for the promotion of the Prize.

Reproduction of poems

a) The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, individual translations from all books entered into the prize will be considered for publication in the Poetry Translation Centre’s Sarah Maguire Prize publication. By entering the competition, publishers grant The Poetry Translation Centre the right in perpetuity to publish and/or broadcast their translations without payment of an anthology fee, but with appropriate acknowledgements, for distribution throughout the world, in print, on the Poetry Translation Centre website, in our newsletter, in associated publications, on social media channels, and in press releases and emails for the purposes of marketing the publication, the Prize or associated work.

b) For books entered into the prize containing the original language poems as well as English language translations the above terms apply to the original language poems as well as the English language translations.

c) For English language only entries to the prize, the Poetry Translation Centre will seek to acquire the rights to publish the original language poems alongside the translations.

d) The Poetry Translation Centre will publish no more than three poems or five pages of translations and no more than three poems or five pages of original language poems from any one book within the Sarah Maguire Prize publication.

The Judging

a) The Prize will be judged by three judges chosen by the PTC. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice.

b) The decision of the judges is final and they will not enter into any correspondence with entrants regarding their decisions.

c) Judges may call in books for consideration if they so wish.

d) The judges reserve the right not to award the Prize if, in their opinion, no works entered reach a sufficiently high standard.