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Christophe Fricker wins First Prize at Dryden Translation Competition

15 September 2021

The School of Modern Languages is delighted to announce that Dr Christophe Fricker is the winner of the first prize at this year’s John Dryden Translation Competition.

The Dryden Prize, run by the British Comparative Literature Association and co-sponsored by the British Centre for Literary Translation, recognises unpublished literary translations from any language into English. Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period.

The prize was awarded for Christophe’s translation of nine sonnets by Matthias Politycki, one of Germany’s best-known and best-selling contemporary novelists, who has previously been a poet in residence in the School of Modern Languages. While many of his prose works have been translated globally, his poetry awaits discovery in the English-speaking world. Recently honoured with a luxurious edition of his Collected Poems “2017-1987,” Politycki writes subtly ironic and fabulously attentive poems about his un-digital, un-automated, human and humane life – on love and despair, grief and rage, beer and gin, crocuses and craggy rocks, developing a bold vision of the barely noticed and the all too painful.

Dr Christophe Fricker is a Lecturer in German and Translation Studies in the School of Modern Languages and the translator of nine English-language books into German, including work by internet sensation Yanko Tsvetkov, Guardian columnist Owen Jones and science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams. On the poems chose for his Dryden submission, Christophe says: “I have chosen to translate some of Politycki’s rhymed and metrical poems which pay homage to a revered classical form while gently updating its remit and style. Translating into my second language has been a much greater pleasure than I had ever assumed.”

In addition to Christophe’s award, two participants in this year’s Bristol Translates summer school were also recognised: Rosie Eyre won Third Prize, and Katherine van de Vate was Highly Commended.

Heartiest congratulations to all involved!


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