We’re excited to share that Archipelago translator Geoffrey Brock has been recognized with the inaugural Joseph Tusiani Translation Prize for his rendering of Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria. Established by the Journal of Italian Translation, the prize honors English-language translations of Italian works which best embody the life and legacy of pioneering translator Joseph Tusiani.
The Committee drew attention to the significance both of Ungaretti’s work and Brock’s translation: “Allegria, never before translated in its entirety, is the central work by one of the two or three greatest Italian poets of the twentieth century. The radical minimalism of its style makes it notoriously difficult to re-create successfully in English. Brock has everywhere met this challenge through a measured and thoughtful recasting of each poem. His English versions capture the essence of Ungaretti’s style and vision, while standing independently as satisfying works of art.”
Brock’s Allegria was also awarded the 2021 National Translation Award in poetry. In addition, Brock is the author of three collections of poems and the editor of the FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry. His translations of Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Umberto Eco, Umberto Saba, and others have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, and The New Yorker, and he has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, and the NEA. He teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas.
Archipelago translator Elizabeth Harris was also recognized as a prize finalist for her excellent work translating Andrea Bajani‘s If You Kept a Record of Sins.
We’re grateful for the existence of prizes that champion the importance of translators and translated literature, and honored to be recognized as a facilitator of such a mission. Congratulations for this wonderful honor, Geoffrey!
We’re honored to share that Stranger’s Guide was recently named a 2022 Fiction finalist for the prestigious National Magazine Award for three stories published last year, including “A Sudden Liberating Thought” written by Archipelago author Kjell Askildsen and translated by Seán Kinsella. Other awardees include work published in Georgia Review, Harper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and The New Yorker.
Kjell Askildsen, who was born in 1929 and passed away in 2021, is widely recognized as one of the preeminent Norwegian writers of the twentieth century and among the greatest short story authors of all time. He entered the literary scene in 1953 with the collection of short stories From Now on I’ll Take You All the Way Home, which received glittering reviews in the Oslo press, but was banished from the library in his home town, for immorality. It was not until 1987, after the publication of A Sudden Liberating Thought, did he receive critical acclaim. Askildsen has since received numerous literary awards, among them the Norwegian Critics’ Prize (1983 and 1991), the Brage Honorary Prize (1996), the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize (2009), and in 1991, he was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Prize for Literature.
In 2021, Archipelago published Askildsen’s Everything Like Before, a luminous collection of stories that captures life as it really is. Its pages feature a man and a woman in a quiet, remote house, an old man on a park bench, an estranged brother in a railway café – characters surrounded by absence. Filled with disquiet, and longing, they walk to a fjord, they smoke, they drink on a veranda, they listen to conversations that drift through open windows. Small flashes like the promise of a sunhat, a nail in a cherry tree, or a raised flag, reveal the interminable space between desire and reality in which Askildsen’s characters are forever suspended.
We again extend our congratulations to Stranger’s Guide, Askildsen’s team, and translator Seán Kinsella.