The Compass Award, established in 2011, is one of those competitions that compares oranges to oranges by inviting all applicants to submit translations of work by the same poet. It’s a different poet each year, and this year’s choice is Arseny Tarkovsky (1907-1989). As a lad of 14, he was one of several who wrote and published a poem containing an acrostic about Lenin – and was the only one of the group to escape execution. He went on to father the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and publish poems described by Anna Akhmatova as “an unexpected and precious gift bestowed upon the reader.” He was himself a translator of poetry from several languages.
Here are the submission guidelines:
1. One translated poem per entry (participant’s choice). Team entries are allowed and encouraged.
2. The translation, along with the Russian original, should be sent via email both in the body of the message and as an attached Word file to this address with the words “Tarkovsky Contest” in the subject line.
3. Participant’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address should appear only on the cover page of the Word file.
4. The contest entry fee is $20 per entry paid online through the Cardinal Points donation page. If for any reason – political, geographical, or technical – you are unable to submit your entry fee, please send a request for a fee waiver to the same address. The organizers consider such waivers as exceptions.
5. The number of entries is not limited, but each entry is considered separately.
Cash prizes (up to $300) will be awarded for the top three entries. The deadline for all submissions is July 31, 2014. See the Compass Award website for more details.