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Brockway Prize to Dutch – German translator Ard Posthuma
Brockway Prize to Dutch – German translator Ard Posthuma
10 Jun, 2015

The Brockway Prize, a biennial prize for poetry translations from the Dutch, has been awarded to Ard Posthuma. The prize was established by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and is worth 5,000 euro. It will be presented on 12 June during the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam.

Literary translator Ard Posthuma (b. 1942) attended universities in Lausanne, Munich and Basel before embarking on a career as editor and lecturer. Since 1989 he has translated Dutch, Frisian and Flemish poetry into German, with publications including anthologies of the work of Martinus Nijhoff, Cees Nooteboom, Gerrit Kouwenaar, Leonard Nolens and Tsjêbbe Hettinga. His translations ‘in the other direction’, of work by authors including Ingo Schulz and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust), have also been highly praised.

The jury spoke particularly highly of Posthuma’s translation of the collections Licht overal (Licht überall) and Zo kon het zijn (So könnte es sein) by Cees Nooteboom. ‘His translations demonstrate that he has an excellent grounding in both the Dutch and the German poetic traditions,’ the jury writes, and ‘although this may at first seem a contradiction, he continually takes the freedom to remain as close as possible to the spirit of the original poetry, knowing exactly how far he can go. In this sense Posthuma shows himself to be a great craftsman and an outstanding mediator between the two languages.’

The 2015 Brockway Prize jury was made up of literary translator Gregor Seferens and publisher Christoph Buchwald, supported by Peter Bergsma, translator and director of the Translators’ House Amsterdam (part of the Dutch Foundation for Literature).

Each edition of the Brockway Prize focuses on a different target language. The prize has previously been awarded to Francis R. Jones (2005; English), Gregor Seferens (2007; German), Jan H. Mysjkin and Pierre Gallissaires (2009; French), Francisco Carrasquer Launed (2011; Spanish) and Judith Wilkinson (2013; English).

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