2023 Stephen Spender Prize winners announced, including Ukrainian schoolchildren


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The Stephen Spender Prize, a prestigious British literary award, has announced its global winners for translations of poetry into English, with Ukrainian schoolchildren achieving recognition in the Ukrainian Spotlight category.


“The act of translation is both deeply personal and profoundly public. It begins when a translator finds themselves moved as a reader, captivated by a piece of writing. Something – an image, a rhyme, the overall effect of the poem – sparks the desire to enter into a dialogue with the author,” commented a member of the jury, Ukrainian-American poet and translator Nina Murray.


One of the winners of the Schools Laureate Prize category is Anna Svystun for “Do you know that you’re a human?” by Ukrainian poet, journalist and activist of dissident movement Vasyl Symonenko.



The prize jury has also honored Kaivalya Pullakandam for his translation of “A Testament for Ukraine” by renowned artist and poet Taras Shevchenko.



The winner of Ukrainian Spotlight KS1-2 category is Aisha-Siddiqa Qadeer for “Mom” by Ukrainian soldier and poet Artur Dron.



Polina Ward is the winner in the KS3-4 category for “Stories to return to” by writer and poet Victoria Amelina who was killed by Russian missile strike.




Awards in the Ukrainian Spotlight category went to:

  • Leila Hamana and Diana Hrytsayenko for Hryhoriy Falkovych’s ‘I love’;
  • Naman Khamari for Hryhoriy Falkovych’s ‘I love’;
  • Monika Novakovska for Andriy Khayetsky’s ‘Where is my Home?;
  • Lena Zviahintseva for her uncompromising translation of Natalka Marynchak’s ‘…And every one of us will have their own war’;
  • Valeriia Kozma for her translation of Mykola Vinhranovksky’s ‘A River Flows by Itself’;
  • Yuliia Ivanenko for Hryhoriy Falkovych’s ‘I Love’;
  • Barnaby Keogh for Ivan Malkovych’s ‘Lesson from a Village Teacher’;
  • Mariya Chechel for Viktoria Amelina’s ‘Story for Return’.


Stephen Spender was a British writer and essayist. The Stephen Spender Prize for translation of poetry was established in 2004. The prize has categories for students, teachers, and youth from the UK and Ireland, as well as an open category for adults from all countries of the world. The prize was founded by the Stephen Spender Trust — a charitable organization that aims to promote literature of the 20th century and Stephen Spender work as its part.


See full list of the winners here.


Main image: prize website