Cyprus PEN has offered a lasting and significant contribution in the filed of translations in Cyprus.
Since 1979 and to date, dozens of volumes of Cypriot literature have been published in English by Cyprus PEN, either in the form of Anthologies and Yearbooks, or as autonomous books.
The recognition of the value of Cypriot literary works, as well as the unwavering and continuous effort to promote them on an international, as well as on national level, has always been the core of this effort.
The first translations working group was set up in 1979, initiated sharing the belief that “Only the great and least favoured art of literary translation can liberate and reveal the beauty that is trapped in the linguistic bonds of the original work”.
From 1981 to 1993, Cyprus PEN published five Anthologies and five Yearbooks. The Anthologies were all published in English, while the Yearbooks, in addition to English translations, also included translations into French and German. Two of the Anthologies were dedicated to poetry: “27 Centuries of Cypriot Poetry”, a publication that covers Cypriot poetry since the great poet Stasinos until 20th century, including poets that had passed away, and “Contemporary Cypriot Poetry”, which includes works by the most important Cypriot poets, alive at the time of the publication. These two anthologies were edited and prefaced by the poet and scholar Theoklis Kougialis. Two prose Anthologies were composed and prefaced by the anthologist and educator, Nikos Spanos. The fifth Anthology covered the field of study, with a collection of five studies on Cypriot literature, covering all literature genres, Nikos Spanos (prose), Eleni Antoniadi (theatre), Konstantinos Giagoullis (folk poetry) and Kika Olympiou (poetry). Andreas Sophocleous edited the publication.
Through bilateral collaborations with other PEN Centers, Cyprus PEN published two Anthologies of Cypriot Short Stories, in Hungarian and in Chinese. In addition, through bilateral agreements and exchanges with other National PEN Centres, with the constant encouragement and active assistance of the Translation Committee of PEN International , Cyprus PEN has promoted the publication of Cypriot Literary works in many other languages: French, German, Bulgarian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, etc.
In 1993 Cyprus PEN, strengthened by its experience in translation works, proceeded to the publication of a series of Literary Portraits in English, the well-known Literary Profiles. The first Literary Profile was the monograph on the late poet Costas Montis, written by the essayist and poet Nikos Orfanides. Cyprus PEN continues to publish the Literary Profiles until 2021. In 2022 the publication of the Literary Profiles is integrated in the Cyprus PEN Review, the periodical edition of Cyprus PEN in English, which presents works by Cypriot writers and their monographs and travels abroad, highlighting the richness of Cypriot literary production.
Many remarkable texts by members of Cyprus PEN have been hosted in the magazine Pen International, which circulates in 150 countries.
Translations are an important part of the work produced by Cyprus PEN. One of the international conferences organized by Cyprus PEN was entitled “Literary Review and Translation”. The conference was attended by representatives of PEN Centres, Associations of Literary Translators, Critics and Publishers from thirty-five countries in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia, Africa and Australia. PEN Greece was represented by the writer Mr. Telis Nikolaides.
The development and continuation of Literary Profiles, as well as IN FOCUS magazine, which is also published in English, and their uniting in one periodical publication, the Cyprus PEN Review, are part of the continuous, tireless and persistent effort of Cyprus PEN to promote the wonderful wealth of Cypriot Literature abroad.