Cyrus Cassells’ vibrant translations grow on the page as though the essence of Francesc Parcerisas’ work has also moved forward in a Janus-like fashion. These translations are not simply the same poems in a different language; Cassells has crafted new poetry. The gentle and delicate rhythms of Parcerisas have been contracted into shorter lines that explore sharper cadences whilst Cassells carefully maintains a sensitive continuity in the opening feet. This is poetry for the ear first and the page second, Cassells has stronger consonants at his disposal, a resource that he skilfully exploits. The ultimate product of his labours is a short collection of poetry that reads and feels like a work of English Literature, a sensation that is perhaps the highest compliment one may bestow upon a Literary Translation.
The Texas Institute of Letters has announced 13 recipients of their Annual TIL Literary Awards. More than $24,000 in award monies will be given to these writers at the annual TIL Awards Banquet, which is scheduled to take place March 28, 2020 at the Georgetown Sheraton.
The Texas Institute of Letters is a nonprofit Honor Society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and recognize distinctive literary achievement. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most respected writers—including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and MacArthur “Genius” Grants.
The following authors have been named as award-winners: Oscar Cásares, Holly GeorgeWarren, Ron Tyler, Bryan Washington, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lupe Mendez, Rubén Degollado, Rebecca Balcárcel, José M. Hernández, Skip Hollandsworth, Sergio Troncoso, and Cyrus Cassells. The titles of their winning works and awards appear below. Nationally recognized novelist, John Rechy, will also be recognized at the Institute’s Annual Awards Banquet with the Lon Tinkle Lifetime Achievement Award for his entire body of work. TIL President Carmen Tafolla is especially proud of the “quality and the diversity of this year’s award-winners, which range from teachers to journalists to an astronaut, reflecting some of the exciting variety in authors’ experiences, styles, themes, and genres.”
Francesc Parcerisas (Barcelona, 1944) is a Catalan writer and professor. He has published poetry, prose, essays and numerous translations. His first book, Vint Poemes Civils, appeared in 1966, his latest, Seixanta-un Poemes, in 2014. Triomf del Present gathers his poetry until 1983. His diary Un Estiu (2018) was greeted as one of the best modern classics. Still Life With Children is the first anthology of his work published in the US. Parcerisas was director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes between1998 and 2003 and Dean of the same institution until 2016. Translated into several languages, his work as received many awards: in 2015 from the Catalan Government and in 2018 the Catalan Writers Prize. He is Emeritus Professor at the UAB in Barcelona and has been visiting professor at Beijing and Chicago.
Cyrus Cassells is the author of More Than Peace and Cypresses (Copper Canyon Press, 2004); Beautiful Signor (1997); Soul Make a Path Through Shouting (1994); and The Mud Actor (1982), which was a National Poetry Series selection. His fifth book, The Crossed-Out Swastika, and a translation manuscript, Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, were released in 2012.
Read also an excellent review of Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas in The LA Review of Books: Second Acts: A Second Look at Second Books of Poetry: Francesc Parcerisas and Ye Lijun, by Lisa Russ Spaar.
Cyrus Cassells: Winner of The Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, for Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas.
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