Art And Culture

Iranian Wins American Literary Prize

Iranian Wins American Literary Prize
Iranian Wins American Literary Prize

Writer and literary translator Siavash Saadlou was awarded the 55th annual Cole Swensen Prize for his translation of “Tomorrow, to Iran,” written by the renowned Iranian poet Mohammad-Ali Sepanlou.  

Born in 1988 in Iran, Saadlou started learning English in his late teens. Since then, he has worked as a journalist, editor, translator, and college professor. His works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and criticism have appeared in Plenitude Magazine, The Margins, and Minor Literature[s]. Saadlou originally studied journalism at City University London. He later majored in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College of California where—as the recipient of several scholarships and a teaching fellowship—he taught undergraduate English Composition and earned his MFA.

As a translator, Saadlou is responsible for introducing the poetry of Sepanlou to the English-speaking world, publishing translations in Los Angeles Review, Asymptote, and Washington Square Review, among many other journals.

Speaking with Financial Tribune, Saadlou, whose poetry has recently been anthologized in Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora (Green Linden Press), said that honors such as the Cole Swensen Prize will only “renew my unflinching determination to do more” and “reaffirm my commitment to literature and translation for many a year to come.”

Selected by staff editors at Denver Quarterly, one of America’s foremost literary journals first launched in 1966, the prize recognizes outstanding translation work published in the magazine during the previous year’s cycle.

The Cole Swensen Prize is named after the eponymous American poet, translator, and editor, best known for her translation of Jean Frémon's The Island of the Dead, which won the 2004 PEN USA Literary Award for Translation.

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