Brockway Prize for Judith Wilkinson

4 June 2013

The Brockway Prize, a biannual prize for poetry translators from the Dutch, has been awarded to Judith Wilkinson. The prize, which is set up by the Dutch Foundation for Literature, consists of a sum of 5,000 euro and will be awarded on 14 June, during the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam.

A different goal language or field of goal languages is considered each edition. Previous laureates were Francisco Carrasquer Launed (Spanish; 2011), Jan H. Mysjkin & Pierre Gallissaires (French; 2009), Gregor Seferens (German; 2007) and Francis R. Jones (English; 2005).

The British poet and translator Judith Wilkinson gained fame in England mainly with her translations of the Flemish poet Miriam van hee and the Dutch poet Toon Tellegen. Her translation of Tellegen’s poetry collection Raafvogels was published as Raptors by the British publisher Carcanet Press in 2011 and was awarded the renowned Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation by The Poetry Society the same year. Her third poetry collection by Tellegen, A Man and an Angel, was published this year.

‘The poetry translations of Judith Wilkinson are sophisticated and skilled. She stays close to the Dutch original, does not deviate from the source text unnecessarily and yet manages to create real English poetry with the craftsmanship and the detailed precision of a jeweller,’ thus the jury. And: ‘At first glance the result seems to be, as all great art, almost simple, but thorough reading shows that she does not once omit putting precisely the right words into precisely the right order. Wilkinson is an outstanding poetry translator.’

The jury for this edition consisted of literary translator Maarten Elzinga, poet and translator Jan Baeke, and Alexandra Dugdale, editor of the British magazine Modern Poetry in Translation, and was assisted by Peter Bergsma, translator and director of the Amsterdam Translator’s House.

An overview of Wilkinson’s (translation)oeuvre can be found in the Translations Database and on her own website.

Award ceremony Brockway Prize 2013

Pieter Steinz, the director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, will award the Brockway Prize in the city theatre in Rotterdam on Friday 14 June in the afternoon, during the 44th> Poetry International Festival.

James Brockway

On 15 December 2000 poet and translator James Brockway died. With his translations he had opened the doors to the poetry of Rutger Kopland, Hans Lodeizen, M. Vasalis, Gerrit Achterberg and many other Dutch poets for English readers. In 1966 he was awarded the prestigious Martinus Nijhoff Prize for his translations and in 1997 the Dutch Queen granted him a Knight’s Order on the same account. Brockway left half of his legacy to the Dutch Foundation for Literature to stimulate the translation of Dutch poetry.

Other Brockway activities

Aside from the Brockway Prize, a biannual translation workshop of several days’ duration is organised for international poetry translators. This year, the workshop will be dedicated to the translation of poetry by Mustafa Stitou into English. The results will be presented during the Poetry International Festival on Friday 14 June.

More information

Thomas Möhlmann


Thomas Möhlmann

[email protected]