The 2023 Drahomán Prize short list has been announced

On March 14, the Chapter of the Prize announced the short list of the 2023 Drahomán Prize for translators from Ukrainian into the world languages.

The finalists of the Prize are:

  • Eero Balk (Finland) is a translator from Ukrainian into Finnish. Nominated by the Ukrainian Association in Finland with a translation of the novel written by Serhii Rudenko Battle for Kyiv (Sankareiden Kiova, Tammi, 2023). He is an alumna of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (1981) and has more than 30 books in his translation heritage. In 2023, he received an honorary award from the WSOY Literary Foundation.
  • Katarzyna Kotyńska (Poland) is a translator from Ukrainian into Polish. Nominated by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Poland with a translation of the book written by Oksana Zabuzhko The Longest Journey (Najdłuższa podróż, Agora, 2023). Since 2023 she has been the head of the Department of Ukrainian Studies at the Institute of East Slavic Philology of the Jagiellonian University. She is the winner of the Angelus Central European Literature Award for the translation of Oksana Zabuzhko’s novel «The Museum of Abandoned Secrets» (2013). Also, she is a mentor of the «Gaude Polonia» program.
  • Mikael Nydahl (Sweden) is a translator from Ukrainian into Swedish. Nominated by ellerströms förlag publishing with a translation of poetry collection written by Artur Dron We Were Here (Vi var här, Ariel & ellerströms förlag, 2023). He is a co-founder of the Swedish residency and translation program for Ukrainian playwrights (2022). Since 2023 he has been a co-editor and co-translator of a modern Ukrainian poetry series.

Raul Chilachava will receive the Special Award «for the building of Ukrainian-Georgian cultural bridges». He is a translator from Ukrainian into Georgian. Three Ukrainian books translated by Raul Chilachava were published in Georgia in 2023: Markiyan Kamysh. A Stroll to the Zone; The Vocabulary of War. Anthological collection: Ukrainian authors writing about war; Taras Shevchenko. My Thoughts.

The 2023 Drahomán Prize laureate will be announced during the award ceremony that will take place in Kyiv at the end of April. The laureate receives a statuette created by the Ukrainian artist Anna Zvyagintseva, a 3,000 EUR prize (taxes included), and additional opportunities for professional growth and promotion of works.

It is worth noting that this year the long list of candidates for the Drahomán Prize has comprised 16 translators, who translate from Ukrainian into Swedish language. Besides, the long list includes translators into English, Italian, Polish, Georgian, Finnish, Japanese, Romanian, Turkish, French, Arabic, and Bulgarian languages. We received submissions from 13 countries, namely Finland, Italy, Georgia, Japan, Romania, Poland, Turkey, Vietnam, Bulgaria, India, USA, Sweden, and Egypt. 

Such a broad geographical scope of the contest was somewhat induced by the Translate Ukraine grant program, implemented in 2020 by the Ukrainian Book Institute. As a result, 61 Ukrainian books were translated into other languages within this program in 2023. The Ukrainian Book Institute shall accept applications for participation in the Translation Support Program «Translate Ukraine 2024» until the 25th of March.  

The Drahomán Prize was launched in 2020 by the Ukrainian Institute, PEN Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Book Institute to support and acknowledge translators from Ukrainian into world languages. It is awarded for the excellence in translation and contribution to the promotion of Ukrainian literature abroad.

The shortlisted nominees and the laureate are selected by the Chapter which consists of 9 members. It comprises reputable writers, translators, linguists, literary scholars, and cultural managers. Regardless of the year, the Chapter includes the General Director of the Ukrainian Institute, the President of PEN Ukraine, and the Director of the Ukrainian Book Institute. The Chapter members have the right to involve additional experts to consult on the submitted nominations.

The German translator Claudia Dathe became the first laureate of the Prize in 2020. Also, Imadeddine Raef, a translator from Ukrainian into Arabic, was awarded the Chapter’s Special Honor “for the excellence in translation and promotion of Ukrainian classical literature.” 

The Polish translator, writer, and literary critic Bohdan Zadura became the laureate of the 2021 Drahomán Prize. The Special Honor of the Chapter “for the filigree translation of the classics of Ukrainian literary modernism and contribution to the promotion of Ukrainian literature in Europe” was awarded to Tobias Wals, a Ukrainian-to-Dutch translator. 

The French translator Iryna Dmytrychyn became the laureate of the 2022 Drahomán Prize. The Special Honor of the Chapter “for the particular contribution in translating and promoting Ukrainian literature, and in developing the Ukrainian studies in Italy” was awarded to Giovanna Brogi, a translator from Ukrainian into Italian.

Ukrainian Institute is a public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Its mission is to strengthen Ukraine internationally and domestically as a subject using the tools of cultural diplomacy. We promote international connections between people and institutions and create opportunities for Ukrainians to interact and cooperate with the world.

PEN Ukraine is a cultural and human rights NGO uniting Ukrainian intellectuals – writers, journalists, scholars, publishers, translators, human rights defenders, and culture managers. With 163 members, it is one of 146 national centers of PEN International. It is a co-founder of the Vasyl Stus Prize, the Yuri Shevelyov Prize, and the George Gongadze Prize.

Ukrainian Book Institute is a government entity affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Its mission is to develop state policy in the book sector, promote book reading in Ukraine, support book publishing, encourage translation activity, and popularize Ukrainian literature abroad.