Literature and books

Variations on a Theme 2017
Variations on a Theme 2017

Variations on a Theme 2017

Wednesday 29 March 2017, 7.00pm | Austrian Cultural Forum London

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural ACF London Translation Prize and ACF London Writing Prize and to invite you to a prize-giving reception to hear readings from the winners and commended entrants. This will also be the closing event for our translator in residence and organiser of the prizes, Jen Calleja.

The winner of the ACF London Translation Prize is Jackie Smith for her translation of the opening of the novel Am Rand by Hans Platzgumer. Two translators were also commended for their submissions: Karen Leeder for her translation of an extract of Raoul Schrott's Das Geschlecht der Engel and Jonathan Blower for his translation of an extract of Hermann Bahr's Dalmatinische Reise. The judges were translator Jamie Bulloch, publisher of Structo magazine Euan Monaghan, and ACF London translator in residence Jen Calleja.

The winner of the ACF London Writing Prize is Paul McQuade for his short story The Wound in the Air, with commendations awarded to Cornelius Fitz for his short story A Foot in Meinong's Jungle and Aleksi Koponen for his short story Climanen/Nodus. Along with Euan Monaghan and Jen Calleja, the writer Eley Williams was also a judge for the prize.

Reading at the prize reception will be Jackie Smith, Karen Leeder, Jonathan Blower and Paul McQuade (via video).

Jackie Smith is a freelance translator and read French and German at Cambridge University. After graduating she worked as a commercial translator, but in late 2015, inspired and encouraged by her experience of participating in the New Books in German ‘Emerging Translators Programme’, she decided to explore more creative avenues. Her co-translation of the topical bestseller The Panama Papers by B. Obermayer and F. Obermaier (Oneworld Publications) was published last year, as was her translation of Marie Duhamel’s biography of Pope Francis (Black Dog & Leventhal). She is currently co-translating a mammoth volume on Pink Floyd for Black Dog & Leventhal. Jackie lives in Hertford with her husband and two children.

Paul McQuade is a writer and translator from Glasgow, Scotland. His work has most recently appeared in Pank, The Master’s Review, the anthology Out There, and is forthcoming from Little Fiction. He has been shortlisted for The White Review and Bridport Prizes, and is the recipient of the Sceptre Prize for New Writing. He is currently at work on a novel about Gaelic, ghosts, and the Outer Hebrides. 

Karen Leeder is Professor of Modern German Literature and Fellow and Tutor in German at New College, Oxford. She also translates from the German, including authors such as Michael Krüger, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Evleyn Schlag. She won the Schlegel-Tieck award in 2005 for her translation of Evelyn Schlag’s Selected Poems and the Stephen Spender prize in 2013 for her translations of Durs Grünbein. In 2015 her translation of Volker Braun’s Rubble Flora (with David Constantine) was commended for the Popescu Prize of the Poetry Society and in 2016 she won both an English PEN award and a PEN America PEN Heim award for her translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s Thick of it (Dickicht) which is due to appear with Seagull Books in 2018. 

Jonathan Blower is a translator of German texts on the visual arts. He studied architectural history and recently completed a PhD on the subject of cultural heritage in the late Habsburg empire. In the past he has translated Heinrich Wölfflin and Julius Schlosser for the Getty Research Institute. He is now working on anthologies of the writings of Caspar David Friedrich and Harald Szeemann.