The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts
Issue 6: Winter/Spring 2015
Three Thai poems of political protest translated by Noh Anothai
Judges: Allie Batts, Jennifer McCharen
Thailand is no stranger to violent conflict, and Noh Anothai’s translations of poems by Naowarat Phongphaiboon, Phaiboon Wongdesh, and Chindana Pinchleo from the mid-1970s speak to current struggles as much as they do to the nation’s past. The winner of Lunch Ticket’s first-ever Gabo Prize in Translation brings three poems of political protest from Thai into English with skill and grace. As Anothai says, “translation is a collaborative act…an act of legacy: of handing things of value down (or over) from one language to another, from one person to another.” To some extent, all poets are translators. All poets translate experience into words to give voice to the ineffable. Anothai’s translations build a bridge across time and language, speaking from the heart that beats eternally for freedom from oppression.
Jennifer McCharen, Lunch Ticket Translation Editor