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Culture

Leading advocate for translation of literature from Wales long-listed for prestigious prize

05 May 2022 3 minutes Read
Alexandra Buchler c Virginia Monteforte

Alexandra Büchler who has been a tireless advocate for the translation of literature from Wales in both English and Welsh into languages across Europe through her role at Literature Across Frontiers has been long-listed for a prestigious translation prize.

Her translation of Czech poet Kateřina Rudčenková’s collection Dream of a Journey has been long-listed for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize.

The collection is an edited selection by Buchler from four books of poetry from Rudčenková’s work.

Kateřina Rudčenková has won prizes as a poet and playwright in Czech and her work has been translated in many European languages but this is the first time a full collection has appeared in English.

She is one of the most translated Czech women writers, whose early poems secured her a place in Arc Publications’ A Fine Line: New Poetry from Eastern and Central Europe and Six Czech Poets in the mid-2000s. Primarily known as a poet, she has also published a collection of short stories and written several plays.

Cultural importance

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 was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and is supported by New College, The Queen’s College, and St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Alexandra Büchler is director of the Literature Across Frontiers, as well as editor and translator of prose, poetry and texts on art and architecture between her native Czech, English and Greek, with close to thirty publications to her name.

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF), the European Platform for Literary Exchange, Translation and Policy Debate, was established in 2001 with support from the then Culture Programme of the European Union.

Their aim is to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation, and highlight less translated literatures.

They are based in Aberystwyth, and work in partnership with a range of organisations and individuals across Europe and beyond, to foster literary diversity and create opportunities for new connections and collaborations.

Responding to her selection, Büchler said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be long-listed for this important prize that spotlights the work of literary translators, as well as of independent publishers who bring literature in translation to English-language readers. I’d like to thank the Czech Ministry of Culture for their support that made it possible for this and many other works of contemporary Czech writing to travel.”

Rudčenková will be reading in the UK at the Kendal Poetry Festival, with events on Sat 25th June followed by an event at the Czech Consulate in Manchester on the 23rd June.

Dream of a Journey is published by Parthian and can be ordered here……


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