Katrine Øgaard Jensen Wins 2018 National Translation Award for Poetry

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, November 8, 2018

Headshot of Katrine JensenWriting and translation alumna Katrine Øgaard Jensen '17 was recently named the winner of the 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry by the American Literary Translators Association for her translation of Third-Millennium Heart from the Danish by poet, Ursula Andkjær Olsen. Third-Millennium Heart, out through Action Books and Broken Dimanche Press, is Jensen’s first book of translation. This prestigious award solidifies Jensen’s rightful place as a masterful translator and distinct literary talent.


2018 marks the twentieth year for the National Translation Award, and the fourth year to award separate prizes in poetry and prose. The award is the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work. Each winner received both great acclaim and a generous financial prize. 


Katrine Øgaard Jensen is a writer and translator. She received a fellowship to teach fiction in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Columbia University, is a two-time Thanks To Scandinavia scholar, and former editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Her work has been published in the Columbia Journal, Washington Square Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She lives in New York, where she edits EuropeNow.


Ursula Andkjær Olsen (b. 1970) was born and raised in Copenhagen. She has a degree in musicology and philosophy from the University of Copenhagen and Technische Universität Berlin. Olsen made her literary debut in 2000 and has since published eight collections of poetry in addition to several dramatic texts and libretti for operas, such as Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's Sol går op, sol går ned and composer Peter Bruun's Miki Alone, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2008. Olsen has received numerous grants and prizes for her work, including the prestigious award Montanaprisen for Det 3. årtusindes hjerte (Third-Millennium Heart).


Third Millennium Heart book coverAn excerpt from Third-Millennium Heart:


“One reality is slaughtered at another reality's altar
the other reality is slaughtered at the third reality's altar
the third reality is slaughtered at the fourth's and

humans, animals, gods
work, loneliness
babel and ivory

stream from hand to mouth, from

one's hand to the other's mouth
the other's mouth to the third's

my servants, my invisible servants are
an army, they take my soul, must become water
must traverse everything while singing GLORIA

all realities must be avenged, each and every one."