My Chaucer Translation – Third Place in the Stephen Spender Prize

by Mark McGuinness on 4 December, 2016

I’m delighted to report that a passage from my translation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde has been awarded third prize in this year’s Stephen Spender Prize, as announced in the Guardian.

The Stephen Spender Prize booklet, showing Mark's translation

I’ve been working on the translation for over two years – the poem is over 8,000 lines long – and it’s great to receive some recognition and encouragement in this endeavour, by being placed in such a prestigious prize.

The passage in question is the eight-stanza ‘proem’ that opens Book 1 – you can read it, plus my commentary on the poem and the translation process, on the Stephen Spender Trust website. Or download a pdf of the prizewinners’ booklet.

Even better, if you live in the UK you can email and they will send you a printed copy of the booklet for free. It’s beautifully designed and printed, and you get another six translations as well as mine, from Spanish, Latin, Irish, Portuguese and Chinese.

Thank you to The Stephen Spender Trust, for the prize and a very enjoyable evening in London, where the prizewinners read our entries and got to meet each other. And special thanks to Mimi Khalvati, for her encouragement and feedback on this project.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marial Shea December 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Wildly exciting! Announced in the Guardian, no less! Where your work is called “accomplished”! OK, I have to stop writing now, I just used up my monthly quota of exclamation marks.

Wait, this deserves one more: huge congratulations to you!

I will definitely read the proem and your commentary.


Mark McGuinness December 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Thank you Marial! Enjoy the proem…


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