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Arseny Tarkovsky July 24, 1907 – May 27, 1989


2014Arseny Tarkovsky Competition

As partners of the Compass Translation Award (Russian poetry in English), we are pleased to announce the 2014 Compass competition dedicated to the poetry of Arseny Tarkovsky (1907-89). The father of renowned filmmaker, Andrey Tarkovsky, Arseny was praised by Anna Akhmatova as “an unexpected and precious present to the reader.” While Tarkovsky began writing in the 1920s, his first collection, Before the Snow, did not appear until 1962. His works, both profoundly spiritual and earthy in detail and texture, are now held in high esteem by Russian readers and are viewed as an essential bridge between the Silver Age and the generation of the Thaw. However, the mesmerizing quality of Tarkovsky’s verse remains largely unexplored by readers abroad.

In the hope that this year’s contest will help Arseny Tarkovsky’s poems get on the literary map for English readers, Cardinal Points Journal is expecting translations that demonstrate a high level of craft. Tarkovsky, himself an accomplished translator, was also friends with last year’s Compass poet, Maria Petrovykh (1908-79).

The submission period started on February 15 and will end on July 31. Submission guidelines are available on the official web page of the 2014 Compass Award. Important: according to the latest update from the panel of judges, a limit of 82 lines per entry has been set. The shortlisted translations will be published in both English and Russian editions of Cardinal Points Journal.

Below are the results of 2013 Compass Award competition:

  • 1st prize
  • Prayer in the Woods. Josephine von Zitzewitz, Oxford, UK
  • 2nd prize
  • The spring, so sensuous… Alexandra Berlina, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • 3rd prize
  • Out of nowhere, it comes… Peter Oram, UK-Germany
  • Honorable mention
  • Grant me a meeting… Nora Krouk, Sidney, Australia

The 2013 Compass Award ceremony and reading took place on January 28 at Pushkin House in London.

The Compass Award was established in 2011 by Cardinal Points Journal in order to recognize the best English translations of Russian poetry. Each year the competition is dedicated to a particular Russian poet.


  1. One translated poem per entry (participant's choice). Team entries are allowed and encouraged.
  2. The translation, along with the Russian original, should be sent via email both in the body of the message and as an attached Word file at the Compass Contest email address ( with the words "Tarkovsky Contest" in the subject line.
  3. Participant’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address should appear only on the cover page of the Word file
  1. The contest entry fee is $20 per entry paid online through the Cardinal Points donation page. If for any reason – political, geographical, or technical – you are unable to submit your entry fee, please send a request for a fee waiver to the same address. The organizers consider such waivers as exceptions.
  2. The number of entries is not limited, but each entry is considered separately.
  3. Note! One entry should be no longer than 82 lines.
The submission period starts on February 15th, 2014 and ends at 11.59PM (EST) on July 31st, 2014. The shortlisted translations will be published in both Cardinal Points and Стороны Света journals.


  • Department of Slavic Languages,
  • Georgetown University (US)
  • Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Montclair State University (US)
  • The Pushkin Club (UK)
  • The Scotland-Russia Forum (UK)
  • Russian American Cultural Center (US)
  • M.I.Tsvetaeva Museum (Moscow)


  • Marina Boroditskaya (Russia)
  • Robert Chandler (UK)
  • Catherine Ciepiela (US)
  • Peter Daniels (UK)
  • Boris Dralyuk (US)
  • Sibelan Forrester (US)
  • Peter France (UK)
  • Ilya Kaminsky (US)
  • J. Kates (US)
  • George Kline (US)
  • Grigory Kruzhkov (Russia)
  • Angela Livingstone (UK)
  • Irina Mashinski (US)
  • Grigory Starikovsky (US)
  • Alexei Tsvetkov (US)
  • Alexander Veytsman (US)
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