SPD is delighted to announce that Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen have won the PEN 2020 Award for Poetry in Translation for their translation of Reina María Rodríguez's The Winter Garden Photograph.

Founded in 1996, the $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published during the current calendar year.

From the judges’ citation: “In jagged, fresh-cut, emotive rhythms, and in a lexicon sourced from science, domestic relations, and literature, Reina María Rodríguez creates a poetry of attentiveness so immediate that no sooner does it express itself, than it is subject to revision and qualification. Through the sensuality of her diction and the abruptive but musical pulse of her syntax, Rodríguez takes up the Wittgensteinian directive to look and see a world that, as the poet puts it, ‘fits into the eyes of the cat.’ The Winter Garden Photograph is as much discursive meditation on memory as it is a riveting embodiment of insight and intuition, and a declaration of love for the great surprising variety of the world. Almost impossibly, the translators negotiate the definitive peculiarities of Rodríguez’s unique phrasing with inspired English versions that neither normalize, dumb-down, nor exoticize the magic of the originals.”

The Winter Garden Photograph
Ugly Duckling Presse
By Kristin Dykstra (Translator), Reina Maria Rodriguez

"A meditation on the power and limitations of images, THE WINTER GARDEN PHOTOGRAPH began as an homage to a magazine, The Courier, published by UNESCO. Reina María Rodríguez used the magazine's photographs of faraway places to spark an investigation of the mental landscapes comprising her own, contemporary Havana. "I think through / the breath in you; I think through / the blood in you": precisely in striving to inhabit other worlds, she pursues the self. With the original Cuban edition of this book, Rodríguez won her second Casa de las Américas Prize for Poetry."

More about the PEN Literary Awards here.
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