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Winning Selections from the 2021 Poems in Translation Contest

September 2021

From top left: Olivia Lott, Conceição Lima, Shook, and Lauri García Dueñas

This year, we partnered with the Academy of American Poets to bring you the third edition of the Poems-in-Translation Contest. We received 606 poems from 327 poets and 79 countries, translated from 61 languages. This year’s winners were selected by Pew Fellow and Yale Series of Younger Poets winner Airea D. Matthews.

The winning poems will be published in Words Without Borders and in’s Poem-a-Day on Saturday, September 25, and Saturday, October 2. Published alongside the poems will be the original language texts and recordings of both the original poems and their English language translations.

The Winners of the 2021 Words Without Borders—Academy of American Poets Poems in Translation Contest
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
This prize-winning translation haunts.
By Conceição Lima
They left the islands a legacy / of hybrid words and gloomy plantations
Translated from Portuguese by Shook
By Lauri García Dueñas
to the rain looming over mexico city open your jaws for us make kids laugh dogs bark
Translated from Spanish by Olivia Lott