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Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize
The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. It is founded by Lord Weidenfeld and funded by New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, Oxford.

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2017

This year’s shortlist includes eight books from an outstanding entry of 127 titles in translations from 26 different languages. Once again we have impressive submissions from both larger and smaller publishing houses: Faber & Faber, Pushkin Press, Comma Press, Angel Classics, MacLehose Press, Penguin Random House, Oneworld, and Bloomsbury. The shortlist contains translations from six languages. 

The winner will be announced at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 3 June. This will be the crowning event of Oxford Translation Day, which boasts a varied programme of talks, workshops and readings. Details are available at Enquiries about the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize should be directed to the Prize administrator, Dr Eleni Philippou, at

This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize are the academics and writers Eleni Philippou, Adriana X Jacobs, Sian Gronlie, and Patrick McGuinness (Chair).

The 2017 shortlist is:

Ben Faccini for Lydie Salvayre’s Cry, Mother Spain (MacLehose)

Philip Ó Ceallaigh for Mihail Sebastian’s For Two Thousand Years (Penguin Classics)

Natasha Wimmer for Álvaro Enrigue’s Sudden Death (Harvill Secker)

Frank Perry for Lina Wolff’s Bret Easton Ellis and The Other Dogs (And Other Stories)

Lisa Dillman for Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies (And Other Stories)

Lisa C Hayden for Vadim Levental’s Masha Regina (Oneworld)

Rawley Grau for Dušan Šarotar’s Panorama (Peter Owen World Series/Istros Books)

Arthur Goldhammer for Stéphane Heuet’s adaptation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way (Gallic)

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language.  It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance.  It is funded by Lord Weidenfeld and by New College, The Queen's College and St Anne's College, Oxford.  Please see for further details.

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize

2016 Winners

Paul Vincent and John Irons for 100 Dutch-language Poems (Holland Park Press)

The judges said:

This treasury of Dutch and Flemish poems (parallel texts of originals and translations) brings together single works of poets ranging from the 11th century to the 21st. It is a rich anthology, based on the two translators’ personal preferences, but also managing to represent something like a canon of important works judged by criteria clearly explained in the translators’ preface.  In shortlisting the book the judges are commending not only the quality of the translations but the selection itself of poets and poems, and the composition of a whole that is even more than the sum of its parts. There is to our knowledge no comparably wide-ranging collection available to English readers, and although inevitably some omissions will be felt, many of the most influential poets are indeed here, powerfully introduced in these new English versions. We believe that the book will be a uniquely valuable source for teachers and students, but we are impressed above all by the inventiveness, the variety, and often the sheer beauty of these English works, through which the Dutch poetic voices speak and sing to us.

Philip Roughton’s translation of Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s The Heart of Man (MacLehose Press)

Patrick McGuinness said:

This is the third of a trilogy whose first two books, Heaven and Hell and The Sorrow of Angels, also published by MacLehose. This is a great epic tale, but it’s also written in the most powerful poetic prose. It is totally compelling, and as I was scrambling about for the right adjectives to describe it, I realized I’d do better to simply quote Boyd Tonkin’s lovely review fromThe Independent: “Beautifully translated by Philip Roughton, Stefansson's immersive prose swells, thunders and sparkles with all the shifting moods of the sea on an Icelandic summer's day.”

2016 Shortlist
Paul Vincent and John Irons for 100 Dutch-Language Poems (Holland Park Press)
John Cullen for Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation (Oneworld)
Stephen Pearl  for Ivan Goncharov’s The Same Old Story (Alma Classics)
Don Bartlett  for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle (Harvill Secker)
Shaun Whiteside for Charles Lewinsky’s Melnitz (Atlantic Books)
Lola M. Rogers for Sofi Oksanen’s When the Doves Disappeared (Atlantic Books)
Philip Roughton for Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s The Heart of Man (MacLehose Press)
Lisa C. Hayden for Eugene Vodolazkin’s Laurus (Oneworld)
Previous winners
2015 Susan Bernofsky for her translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (Portobello Books)
2014 Susan Wicks for her translation of Valérie Rouzeau’s Talking Vrouz (Arc)
2013 Philip Boehm for his translation of Herta Müller’s The Hunger Angel (Portobello)
2012 Judith Landry for her translation of New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani (Dedalus)
2011 Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of José Saramago’s The Elephant’s Journey (Harvill Secker)
2010 Jamie McKendrick for his translation of Valerio Magrelli’s The Embrace (Faber and Faber)
2009 Anthea Bell for her translation of Saša Stanišic’s How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
2008 Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of Eça de Queiroz’s The Maias (Dedalus)
2007 Michael Hofmann for his translation of Durs Grünbein’s Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems (Faber and Faber)
2006 Len Rix for his translation of Magda Szabo’s The Door (Harvill Secker)
2005 Denis Jackson for his translation of Theodor Storm’s Paul the Puppeteer (Angel Books)
2004 Michael Hofmann for his translation of Ernst Junger’s Storm of Steel (Penguin)
2003 Ciaran Carson for his translation of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno (Granta)
2002 Patrick Thursfield and Katalin Banffy-Jelen for their translation of Miklos Banffy’s They Were Divided (Arcadia)
2001 Edwin Morgan for his translation of Phaedra by Jean Racine (Carcanet) into Scots
2000 Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of Jose Saramago’s All the Names (Harvill)
1999 Jonathan Galassi for his translation of Eugenio Montale’s Collected Poems (Carcanet)

‘Common European thought is the fruit of the immense toil of translators. Without translators, Europe would not exist; translators are more important than members of the European Parliament.’ (Milan Kundera)