2015 Ralph Manheim Medal to Burton Watson

Burton with seal_croppedThe Ralph Manheim Medal awarded by the Translation Committee of the PEN American Center is a lifetime achievement award for a distinguished translator and is given every three years. Previous winners include such luminaries as Gregory Rabassa, Edith Grossman, and Richard Howard. The award was initiated by funds donated by Bernard Malamud and Gay Talese, and has received additional support from the family and friends of Ralph Manheim, who died in 1992.

The 2015 Medal has been awarded to Burton Watson, known for his translations of classical East Asian poetry, including (among many others) the work of Chuang Tzu, Han-shan, Su Tung-P’o, and Po Chü-i. His translations include poetry, prose, histories and sacred texts written originally in classical Chinese and Japanese. More information about the prize and remarks on Watson here.

The Ralph Manheim Medal will be formally presented in a ceremony at the New School on June 8, together with the PEN Translation Prize and PEN Award in Poetry in Translation (winners to be announced May 13).

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