Celebrating the winners of the Translation Challenge and Her Gyfieithu 2020


This Wednesday evening (September 30th) on International Translation Day, a digital event will be held to celebrate the success of the winners of the Translation Challenge 2020 competitions, Grug Muse and Eleoma Bodammer.

Eleoma Bodammer & Grug Muse

Eleoma Bodammer a Grug Muse.

This year's challenge was to translate a sequence of short poems by the poet Zafer Şenocak in German entitled 'Nahaufnahmen’.

A prize of £200 each is presented to the two winners and the winning translations will be published on the websites of O’r Pedwar Gwynt and Poetry Wales. The Her Gyfieithu Staff for the best translation into Welsh is also presented to Grug sponsored by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru.

The competition is organised by Wales Literature Exchange, Wales PEN Cymru and Literature Across Frontiers at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in collaboration with Swansea University, the Association of Welsh Translators, O’r Pedwar Gwynt, Poetry Wales and Goethe-Institut.

11 entries received in Her Gyfieithu, and the Welsh competition's adjudicator Mererid Hopwood, Professor of Languages and Welsh Curriculum at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, says that Grug's work was the "translation that caught my imagination more than one of the others and best succeeded in creating the feeling of a 'poem'."

Grug Muse is a poet, editor and researcher. She is one of the founding members and editors of Y Stamp literary magazine. Her first volume of poetry, Ar Ddisberod, was published with Barddas in 2017. She is one of the Welsh participants of the Creative Europe’s exchange residencies programme Ulysses Shelter 2020, a project managed jointly by Literature Across Frontiers and Wales Literature Exchange and was awarded a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary in 2020. Her work has been published in several publications including O’r Pedwar Gwynt, Barddas, Poetry Wales and others. She is currently working on a PhD research project at Swansea University. 

The winner of the Translation Challenge 2020 is academic Dr Eleoma Bodammer. Dr Bodammer is a Black Welsh academic, born and raised in Wales, she learned German in her local comprehensive school in Newport, before studying German at the University of Manchester, where she was awarded a first-class BA Honours in German Studies and a PhD in German literature, supported by AHRC and DAAD scholarships. She is Reader at the University of Edinburgh where she teaches German literature and grammar, as well as literary translation between German and English. Her research focuses on German literature in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries, literary translation and the representation of disability in literature.

Professor Karen Leeder a writer, translator and academic who teaches German at New College, Oxford University – was adjudicator of Translation Challenge. Eleoma's translation “stood out at once, following the sinuous language to perfection and entirely in tune with that spare voice.” 

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones of the Wales Literature Exchange said: “We are delighted that we have been able to hold the Translation Challenge again this year despite the concerns and challenges of the pandemic. The competition is going from strength to strength and this is the twelfth / 12th year that we have held it in collaboration with a number of partners. It is a very important time for us in Wales to celebrate the links between ourselves and other countries, languages and cultures. WLE’s motto is Translating Wales, Reading the World, and this is a very suitable event for International Translation Day.”

Professor Medwin Hughes DL, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “At the University we are very proud of Mercator and its long-standing contribution to the international field, and of the expertise of Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones and Alexandra Büchler. Wales Literature Exchange and Literature Across Frontiers have a significant track record in international literature networks and in developing literary translation between Wales and the world.”

During the event we also hear from Eluned Morgan MP, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language; Menna Elfyn, President of PEN Cymru and Professor Emerita of Creative Writing University of Wales Trinity Saint David; Gosia Cabaj of Goethe-Institut along with representatives from our other partners. The event is sponsored by the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones MS.

The event will be held at 7pm this Wednesday evening and you can register to be part of the evening by clicking on the link below:


Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk