"Raised by Wolves: Poems and Conversations," a hybrid book comprising poems by Taiwanese poet and filmmaker Amang along with recorded conversations between Amang and her American translator Steve Bradbury, received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation of the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards. Amang is the first Taiwanese to garner the prestigious award.
According to the judges' citation, the poet and translator break new ground with their approach in innovative translation. They have worked together and brought forth a new literary model. The judges also state that Bradbury, in bringing his intriguing dialogues with Amang into the collection, offers readers "excellent translations of work from a spirited and deeply skilled contemporary poet."
Amang and Bradbury have known each other since 2014; he translated some of her poems and published it in literary magazines. Their work caught the attention of a U.S. publisher who later contacted Bradbury to see the possibility of publishing a poetry book. The two began the discussions in 2016 when both were invited by the artists and writers residency program of the Vermont Studio Center in the U.S., and in 2018 conducted online discussions when Amang, under the auspice of the Ministry of Culture, attended a residency program at Cove Park in Scotland. The book was eventually published in September 2020.
Amang mentioned that, the long production process of the collection was by no means a smooth sailing, and she is grateful that the production team was persistent. Expressing her thanks to the Ministry of Culture and organizations that have sponsored her residencies, Amang, in particular, spoke of her gratitude to Bradbury, for showing his humor, intelligence, sense of music and generosity in the in-depth conversations about poetry, language, culture and translation, making each debate regarding translation an intense and rewarding adventure.
Born and raised in Hualien, Amang has published four volumes of verse. Her collections of poetry include "On/Off: Selected Poems of Amang (On/Off：阿芒詩集)," "No Daddy(沒有爹)," "Chariots of Women (女戰車)," and "As We Embrace Thousands Are Dying(我緊緊抱你的時候這世界好多人死)." In addition, she is a filmmaker and an avid blogger.
Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards Program has honored outstanding voices in fiction, poetry, science writing, essay, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, and more. The awards are juried by panels of esteemed, award-winning writers, editors, booksellers, and critics.