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Karl Dedecius Prize 22.03.2024

Urszula Poprawska and Lothar Quinkenstein as winners of the Karl Dedecius Prize.
We are delighted to announce that this year's Karl Dedecius Prize was awarded by the German Institute of Polish Affairs to Urszula Poprawska and Lothar Quinkenstein for their outstanding translation work and commitment to the Polish-German cultural dialogue. The awards of 10,000 euros will be presented at an official ceremony on 24 May in Darmstadt.

Urszula Poprawska

Urszula Poprawska works as a freelance translator in Krakow. She studied Polish philology at the Catholic University of Lublin and then worked as an editor at the Polish Language Institute PAN in Krakow. Since 2001, she has been translating German-language literature for leading Polish publishing houses such as Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Wydawnictwo Czarne, Znak, Otwarte, WAM. Her bibliography includes works by well-known German-language authors - Daniel Kehlmann, Uwe Timm, Arthur Koestler and Friedrich Reck-Malleczen.
The prize jury particularly appreciated the Polish translations of Katia Petrowska's novels "Maybe Esther" and "The Eighth Life (for Brilka)" by Nino Haratischwili. Both works were extremely popular with Polish readers, which is rather rare for German literature. Of particular note is the edition of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, translated for the first time from the German-language original! Also published in translation by Urszula Poprawska are reportages by Günter Wallraff and Adrian Geiges, popular science books on historical topics: Jörg Baberowski on Stalin, Ulrich Völklein on Josef Mengele and Asfy-Wassen Asserate on Emperor Haile Selassie. Most notable is the exceptional quality of Poprawska's translations, whose texts in Polish have a particular tone and style.

Lothar Quinkenstein

Lothar Quinkenstein, honoured by the jury, is a translator, writer, poet and literary scholar. He translates works of various genres and styles from Polish into German, including several books by 2018 Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk, as well as Henryk Grynberg, Ludwig Hirszfeld and Brigid Helbig. Particularly noteworthy are the translations, done together with Lisa Palmes, of Ludwik Hirszfeld's 'History of a Single Life', Olga Tokarczuk's 'The Jakub Books' and (currently in preparation) Bolesław Prus' 'Lalka'. Lothar Quinkenstein is a translator with all his heart and soul; he celebrates language and is never satisfied with quick results. In addition to translation and teaching at the European University Viadrina, he is also involved in literary and cultural education, among other things as co-editor of the series "Library of Polish Holocaust Literature" and the anthology "PeriGraphien. The edges of Europe - the centre of Europe. Debora Vogel, Itzik Manger, Arnold Slutsky', which was published in 2016 by buch|bund bookstore as part of a series of conversations initiated by Quinkenstein under the same title.
The Karl Dedecius Prize has been awarded every two years since 2003. In the previous edition, the prize was awarded to Elżbieta Kalinowska and Andreas Volk.

From 2022 onwards, the strategic partner of the prize is Sparkasse Darmstadt.
Partners of the new edition of the award are also the European College of Translators in Straelen, Villa Decius in Krakow, and the Karl Dedecius Foundation in Frankfurt (Oder).

The award ceremony will take place on 24 May 2024 in Darmstadt.
A residential stay at Villa Decius in Krakow for a German translator/translator is also part of the Prize.
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