The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts
by Monchoachi, translated by Patricia Hartland
Special Guest Judge, William Rodarmor:
Patricia Hartland set herself a major challenge in translating Monchoachi, a poet prolific in both French and Martinican Creole. Monchoachi is the pseudonym of André Pierre-Louis, who was born in Martinique in 1946. Hartland calls his work ‘a site of both play and resistance… of becomings, origins, and renewals.’ Patrick Chamoiseau says Monchoachi has completely renewed the relationship of the Creole language to French. This means that a vigilant translator must look in two different linguistic directions while plotting her course in a third.
“Hartland brings impressive skills to the task. An MFA candidate for poetry at Notre Dame, she focuses on post-colonial, linguistically hybrid, francophone texts. And she lends a deft touch to her Monchoachi translations. Here is a sample from ‘The child who birthed the mother’:
Forged up the watercourse:
in the mirrorment the paradise,
the subtle game of reflections,
the sounds enchantment,
unity of all
piety in all.
- William Rodarmor is an editor and French literary translator in Berkeley, California. He has translated some forty-five books and screenplays in genres ranging from serious fiction to espionage and fantasy. In 1996 he won the Lewis Galantière Award from the American Translators Association for Tamata and the Alliance, by Bernard Moitessier. In 2016, he won the Northern California Book Award for fiction translation for The Slow Waltz of Turtles, by Katherine Pancol.
by Trisse Gejl, translated by Lindy Falk van Rooyen
by Claudia Morales, translated by Allana Noyes