Karl Dedecius Prize

2015 Darmstadt

Katarzyna Leszczyńska and Sven Sellmer have both been awarded the Karl Dedecius Prize in recognition of their outstanding achievements in translation

"Without translators, there would be no such thing as ‘global literature’; they discover interesting new authors and ones who have been forgotten about, unearth valuable books, and make them accessible by virtue of their translations," said Dr. Kurt W. Liedtke, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, at the award ceremony in the Karolinensaal room at the Hessian State Archives in Darmstadt.

This year, the Karl Dedecius Prize was awarded to both Katarzyna Leszczyńska and Sven Sellmer, with the winners receiving €10,000 each. A German and Polish jury, with Karl Dedecius as its honorary chair, selected the two prize winners and recognized both their achievements in translation and their mediation work between the two neighboring countries.

In her congratulatory speech for Katarzyna Leszczyńska, Polish publisher Monika Sznajderman praised her "unique and divine gift for understanding the way the world is seen through someone else’s eyes." Leszczyńska thanked "her authors" and added the following: "This prestigious accolade for my work fills me with joy and leaves me speechless. This wonderful award is in recognition of my dialog with the books and my quest to mediate between cultures."

In her congratulatory speech for translator Sven Sellmer, Polish writer Zyta Rudzka expressed the inspiring partnership between author and translator in highly personal terms: "If literature is the art of asking questions, an encounter with a brilliant translator is the moment an author feels compelled to answer their own questions." In his acceptance speech, Sellmer was critical of the position translators often find themselves in: "Despite many pleasing developments in the last 20 to 30 years, it is still not always the case that the translator of a literary work is consciously acknowledged – let alone truly valued."

Doyen and translator Karl Dedecius closed his poetic celebratory speech with his own translation of an poem by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Musical accompaniment was provided by the Polish jazz of Vitold Rek (double bass) and Waldemar Szymański (violin). The event was organized by the Deutsches Polen-Institut and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in conjunction with the Stiftung Karl Dedecius Literaturarchiv.

Picture Gallery

Photos: Daniel Lechowski

2015 Darmstadt

Katarzyna Leszczyńska i Sven Sellmer otrzymali w dniu 12 czerwca Nagrodę im. Karla Dedeciusa dla niemieckich tłumaczy literatury za wybitne osiągnięcia w dziedzienie przekładu oraz zasługi dla dialogu polsko-niemieckiego. Ta bilateralna Nagroda została wręczona już po raz siódmy, tym razem w Darmstadt. W swojej laudacji na cześć Katarzyny Leszczyńskiej szefowa wydawnictwa „Czarne”, Monika Sznajderman, podkreślała „niezwykły, od Boga dany dar tłumaczki rozumienia tego, co mówią obce oczy”. W laudacji na cześć Svena Sellmera Zyta Rudzka w bardzo osobisty sposób opisała szczególne więzi i inspirującą współpracę między autorem i tłumaczem. Karl Dedecius zakończył swoje poetyckie przemówienie wierszem „Warkocz jesieni” Jarosława Iwaszkiewicza w tłumaczeniu własnego autorstwa. Vitold Rek (kontrabas) i Waldemar Szymański (skrzypce) zagwarantowali ze swoimi jazzowymi impresjami muzyczną oprawę uroczystości na najwyższym poziomie.

Organizatorem uroczystości są Deutsches Polen-Institut i Fundacja im. Roberta Boscha we wspόłpracy z Fundacją Archiwum Literackie Karla Dedeciusa.