This week, Carol Ann Duffy launched her new poetry prize: the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for
the most exciting contribution to poetry in that year.
It's a generous gesture from the new laureate, though questions have been asked about whether we need another poetry award. The test will be the shortlists: if they copy those of the other prizes, the Ted Hughes Award will be pointless; if they're as broad as the outlined criteria, it could be worthwhile:
Eligible works include, but are not limited to, poetry collections (for adults or children), individual published poems, radio poems, verse translations, verse dramas, libretti, film poems, and public poetry pieces.
Books which contain more than twenty percent (20%) translations (including versions, imitations or any poetry inspired by the work of one or more other writers) will not be eligible. Percentages should be calculated on the total number of lines of poetry in a book.
A translation award could too easily reinforce the ghettoisation of translated poetry but, by including it along with untranslated work, I sincerely hope Duffy's new prize helps to raise the status of translating in the British poetry scene.