The judges had no hesitation in awarding the 3rd David Reid Translation Prize to Francis Jones for his Geordie version of the medieval Egidiuslied. With the ingenious device of making Egidius a collier, Francis Jones has recreated the heartfelt simplicity of the original. The effect of transposing the poem to a modern (or pre-1980s) local context has been to recapture its essence. His version has given the poem back to its anonymous maker and breathed new life into it. This was a refreshing and ambitious entry and one that expands one's idea of the potential of poetry translation. Francis Jones has spoken of using a regional dialect to signal the source text's strangeness. His translation certainly succeeds in doing this, but it also exposes something rather disturbing - in using dialect Jones has recaptured the immediate sense of grief and loss, the human emotion, more effectively than is maybe possible in modern standard English.
The entrant who came nearest to doing the latter in the jury's view was Renée Delhez, who was also the runner-up in the first contest. Her translation is true to the text and to metre and rhyme and it reads well. What she captures in her version is the smoothness, sweetness and lyricism (preserving the caesuras) of a text that is after all as much a song as a poem.Donald Gardner, November 2007