Pentti Saaritsa, 72, has been awarded the third-ever Nordic Translator’s Prize by the Stockholm-based Letterstedtska föreningen. The award is worth 50,000 Swedish crowns, or about 5500 euros.
Saaritsa has translated many of Finland’s leading Swedish-language authors into Finnish. They include Edith Södergran, Bo Carpelan, Lars Huldén and Claes Andersson.
He has also specialised in Spanish-language literature, translating books by the likes of Federico García Lorca, Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda and Frida Kahlo.
Saaritsa has also translated from Russian, German and English, including new translations of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Titus Andronicus.
As a poet, he has also published more than 20 collections since his 1965 debut. Saaritsa has also translated song lyrics, lectured on Latin American literature and worked as a journalist.