Portuguese American Journal

Tagus Press: ‘Poems in Absentia’ longlisted for the PEN America Award – Poetry and Translation

Tagus Press, the publishing arm of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, is pleased to announce that George Monteiro’s 2019 translation of Poems in Absentia Poems from The Island and the World by Pedro da Silveira has been longlisted for the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

Founded in 1996, the award recognizes the best book-length translations of poetry into English and seeks to honor dynamic, diverse, and thought-provoking examples of literary excellence. This year’s panel of judges included the esteemed writers and translators Michael Eskin, Forrest Gander, and Pierre Joris.

Monteiro’s bilingual edition of Pedro da Silveira’s fresh and original poems express a deep connection to place, drawing readers into the insular world of the mid-Atlantic islands of the Azores.

In plain and direct language, this masterful translation captures the yearning, hope, and loss of Silveira’s poetry. As we read these poems, tracing the islander’s longing for migration that leads to departures and inevitable returns, we experience the emotions of dreaming and diminution, as well as the discovery of illusions.

The timing of the PEN Awards announcement is bittersweet, as Poems in Absentia & Poems from The Island and the World’s translator, George Monteiro, passed away this November. Author of a long list of scholarly books, Monteiro was also a published poet and a translator of poetry from Portuguese by Fernando Pessoa, Jorge de Sena, and Miguel Torga, among others. Monteiro was professor emeritus of English and of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University and received an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1993.

Poems in Absentia & Poems from The Island and the World is volume 2 in the Bellis Azorica Series, co-edited by Prof. Onésimo T. Almeida (Brown University) and Dr. Mario Pereira (UMass Dartmouth). Poems in Absentia & Poems from The Island and the World is a co-publication with Gávea-Brown Publications in the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University.

To purchase Poems in Absentia & Poems from The Island and the World, please visit the UMass Press website by clicking HERE.

Tagus Press is the publishing arm of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Source: Press Release

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