Writer and translator Amaia Gabantxo (Bermeo, 1973) is winner of the fourth Etxepare – LABORAL Kutxa Translation Prize for her English translation of Harri eta herri (Rock & Core) and Maldan behera (Downhill) written by the Bilbao-born author Gabriel Aresti. The two poetry collections are published jointly in one volume by the University of Nevada Press as part of its Basque Literature series, which is coordinated by the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Basque Minister for Culture, Bingen Zupiria attended the award ceremony, which took place today at the Euskadi Historical Archive in Bilbao. Zupiria underscored the importance of translation as a way of ‘opening new doors’ for the Basque language and culture. “Translations like the work by Amaia Gabantxo enable us to take the language, culture and talent of our artists and writers beyond our borders. Translation is essential if we want to internationalize Basque culture, one of the fundamental goals of the Etxepare Institute,” he said.
The jury’s decision was based on the quality of the translation and the publisher´s promotional efforts. The jury felt that the translation conveyed the rhythm and tone of the original and praised Gabantxo’s work for being free yet justified. In the jury’s opinion, her work “captured the meaning or sense of the original version”.
The jury also praised the translator’s choice of project: “a canonical work of great academic value that warrants being translated into English”. Lastly, the jury felt that the work will have “a long academic future”.
In this fourth edition of the prize, the jury comprised the following experts: Inaxio Garro, head of Euskera at LABORAL Kutxa; Garbiñe Iztueta, director for the promotion and dissemination of Basque Language at the Etxepare Institute; Juan Garzia, translator; Elizabete Manterola, professor at the University of the Basque Country and member of EIZIE (Association of Translators, Correctors and Interpreters of Basque Language) and Mikel Lasa, Communications Director at the Etxepare Institute.
Etxepare-LABORAL Kutxa Translation Prize
The Etxepare-LABORAL Kutxa Translation Prize was created in 2015 to reward the translation of original works of literature written and published in Basque. The translations are a tool for Basque writers to achieve greater readership internationally and the awards seek to recognize and value the hard work of translators.
Translators and publishers from around the world can submit their work provided they meet the following requirements: translations must have been published in 2017 (for 2018th edition) and must be the translation of a literary work written and originally published in Euskera.
The prize awards 4,000 euros based on the quality of the translation and the publisher’s promotional efforts and is therefore shared by the publisher and the translator. The winners may receive an additional €2,000 euros to attend the awards ceremony or to continue promoting the work (presentations, advertising campaigns, etc.) in the country where the award-winning work was published.
This award is yet another effort by the Etxepare Institute aimed at raising the profile of Basque culture. In the field of literature, in addition to awarding translation and travel grants for Basque writers, the Institute encourages the participation of Basque writers in book fairs and international literary festivals. Through this award, LABORAL Kutxa continue its commitment to Basque language and culture.
Eligibility and rules for the Etxepare Basque Institute-LABORAL Kutxa Translation Prize will be posted on www.etxepare.eus on June 4th.
Amaia Gabantxo (Bermeo, 1973) is a writer, Flamenco singer-songwriter and literary translator specializing in Basque literature. Her prolific career as a translator includes the English translations of
Twist and Belarraren ahoa (Harkaitz Cano), Kristalezko begi bat (Miren Agur Meabe), Zorion perfektua (Anjel Lertxundi), Vredaman (Unai Elorriaga) and Borrokaria (Bernado Axaga), in addition to the prize-winning Harri eta herri and Maldan behera (Gabriel Aresti), among others. Gabantxo is a contributor to several literary publication as a critic and editor. She teaches Basque, literature and creative writing at the University of Chicago and performs regularly at different venues throughout the city.
Isaac Xubín and Kalandraka publishers
Tempo de exilio (Joseba Sarrionandia)
Nami Kaneko and Hakusuisha publishers
Mussche / Lo que mueve el mundo (Kirmen Uribe)
Yaroslav Gubarev and Anetta Antonenko publishers
Behi euskaldun baten memoriak / Memorias de una vaca (Bernado Atxaga)