On behalf of the MGSA Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize Committee, I am happy to announce the results of this year’s competition. A number of translations were submitted whose source texts represent a wide range of genres (from short stories and novels to poetry and theater) and span a period from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The evaluating committee, consisting of Elsa Amanatidou, Natalie Bakopoulos, Joanna Eleftheriou, Eleni Sikelianos, and myself as Chair, has read the submissions and arrived at its decisions after careful consideration.
The 2019 Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize is awarded to Brian Sneeden for his translation of Phoebe Giannisi’s 2016 collection of poetry Ραψωδία (excerpt submitted under the general title Rhapsody). Brian Sneeden’s translation does justice to the original as it preserves key aspects of the Greek text while exhibiting ample vitality and creative vision of its own. His renditions are at the same time meticulous and lyrical, precise and elegant, powerful and subtle. To make this feel easy and effortless when it is clearly the result of a thoughtful and sustained engagement with Giannisi’s poetry is a prizeworthy achievement indeed.
Honorable Mention is given to Johanna Hanink for her translation of Konstantinos Poulis’ 2014 collection of short stories Ο θερμοστάτης (excerpt submitted under the general title The Thermostat). This is a translation of exceptional quality that stood out from the rest and elicited high praise and admiration from all five members of the committee.
The winners will be formally announced and congratulated at the Award Ceremony of the 26th MGSA Symposium, November 7-10, 2019, in Sacramento, CA. The committee takes this opportunity to congratulate them here as well. It would also like to thank all those who submitted their excellent work.
The MGSA Constantinides Memorial Translation Competition is intended to raise the profile of contemporary Greek literature in English and to award translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful exercise. Established in 1995 and administered by the MGSA, the Prize honors the memory of Elizabeth Constantinides (1932-1992, Ph.D. in Greek and Latin from Columbia University), who taught Modern Greek language and literature at Queens College of CUNY from 1978 to 1992, wrote on Alexandros Papadiamantis, and translated twelve short stories by Papadiamantis, published as Tales from a Greek Island (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987). Constantinides served on the Executive Committee of the MGSA and was awarded the 1987 prize of the Society of Literary Translators in Athens, Greece.
Nikos Panou, committee chair