Announcing the Winners of the 2018 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose!

November 1, 2018—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose! 2018 marks the twentieth year for the NTA, and the fourth year to award separate prizes in poetry and prose. The NTA, which is administered by ALTA, 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.

This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu. This year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!


Winner: 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry

T3rdMillenniumHeart_FINAL-smallhird-Millennium Heart
by Ursula Andkjær Olsen
translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen
(Action Books)

Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s compelling work travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book’s jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering. By the end of this insidious text, the reader is just as “namedrunk” as the book’s enigmatic lyrical subject, and discovers that their own “heartspace,” too, has been torn open, dissected, and beautifully recreated.


Winner: 2018 National Translation Award in Prose

Compass_Enard_1Compass
by Mathias Énard
translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell
(New Directions)

Words from the judges: This virtuosic and engaging meditation on how the ‘Orient’ has shaped Western thought and art and been shaped in turn is also a love letter to countries and cultures that have been damaged nearly beyond recognition. Over the course of a sleepless night, a Viennese musicologist broods over an ominous diagnosis and recalls with bittersweet wryness his unrequited love for Sarah, a brilliant scholar of Middle Eastern cultures. He punctuates his monologue with adventures and misadventures of a colorful cast of historical figures. Charlotte Mandell conveys the exhilaration, complexity and intellectual relish of Énard’s prose with every ounce of the original’s energy.


Submissions for the 2018 National Translation Awards will be accepted starting in January 2019.  Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

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Announcing the Winner of the 2019 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation!

November 1, 2018—White Pine Press, the Cliff Becker Endowment for the Literary Arts, and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) are proud to announce the winner of the seventh annual Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, which produces one volume of literary translation in English, annually.

This year’s winner is Cole Heinowitz for her translation from the Spanish of Bleeding From All 5 Senses by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro. Judges Daniel Borzutzky, Aaron Coleman, and Mani Rao read and reviewed over thirty book manuscripts in determining the winner of the prize. The book will be published by White Pine Press in fall 2019 thanks to support from the Center for the Art of Translation. The judges had the following to say about Heinowitz’s manuscript:

The raucous energy and desperate inventiveness of Bleeding From All 5 Senses takes on a second life in Heinowitz’s sinuous translations of Papasquiaro. Melding persistent social and emotional urgency, Bleeding from All 5 Senses affectively embodies something vital of our tumultuous world.

In a compendium of tones ranging from the slyly humorous to the jarringly serious, Heinowitz renders Papasquiaro’s poems with meticulous care and creativity. Heinowitz conveys the intensity and music of Papasquiaro’s voice in English in such a way that the poet’s language takes on new valences of meaning in both Unitedstatesian and international anglophone contexts. Heinowitz’s translation of Papasquiaro’s roving tonal shifts, idiosyncratic syntax, and mosaic of sociocultural concerns makes a new and useful contribution to contemporary anglophone poetry.


Additionally, the judges for the 2019 Cliff Becker Prize have awarded Honorable Mentions to Bradley Schmidt for his translation from the German of Invasion in Reverse by Lea Schneider, and Thom Satterlee for his translation from the Danish of The Small Crosses: Selected Poetry of Annemette Kure Andersen. They had this to say about the runners-up:

Invasion in Reverse’s deft handling of the book-length prose poem form creates an unexpected and unique dynamism – page after page of long prosaic lines unleashes a sea of darkly humorous and incisively insightful images, epiphanies, and furtive confessions. There is much to admire in the way this translation sustains an understated yet profoundly thoughtful energy inside a form that at times feels like an endless expanse, at times feels like a cage.

The impressive concision of The Small Crosses animates the conceit of small crosses with fine-tuned tension and emotional poignancy. Satterlee’s translations impressively maintain the formal and syntactical compression of poems that resound with vivid and captivating feeling.

 

Submissions for the 2020 Cliff Becker Book Prize will be accepted starting in January 2019. Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

 

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Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize!

November 1, 2018—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize. Lucien Stryk was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University. The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. This year’s judges are Robert Hueckstedt, Juliet Winters Carpenter, and Sora Kim-Russell.

Winner: 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize

qiu.Crocodile.hires2_1024x1024Notes of a Crocodile
By Qiu Miaojin
Translated from the Chinese by Bonnie Huie
(New York Review Books)

Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin, first published in Taiwan in 1994, is a queer novel in both senses of the adjective. It tells the story of a “woman who loves women,” while also queering the conventions of the novel to chart a non-linear, non-binary, playfully fragmented, and multi-genre course of its own. Translator Bonnie Huie deftly navigates Qui’s stylistic twists and turn, artfully balancing ontological philosophy against the diction and hijinks of a group of college-aged misfits chafing against social expectations. While fundamentally a story about misfits—crocodiles who “adopted a homemade ‘human suit’ before running away from home”—it is a perfect fit and an overdue addition to the ever-growing body of queer literature from around the world.

 

Submissions for the 2019 Lucien Stryk Prize will be accepted starting in January 2019.
Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

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Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award!

November 1, 2018—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award!

Starting in 2015, the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) recognizes the importance of contemporary Italian prose (fiction and literary non-fiction) and promotes the translation of Italian works into English. This $5,000 cash prize is awarded annually to a translator of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). This year’s judges are Geoffrey Brock, Peter Constantine, and Sarah Stickney. Read what the judges had to say about the winning title below.

Winner: 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award

For_Isabel_-_Cover_For Isabel, A Mandala 
By Antonio Tabucchi
Translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris
(Archipelago Books)

Translated by Elizabeth Harris, Antonio Tabucchi’s For Isabel, A Mandala leads the reader through a “mandala of consciousness.” This novella is at once a mystery, a magical-realist fairy tale, and a travelogue. As we follow the protagonist in his search for the lost Isabel, we move towards the center of the mystery through the mandala’s concentric circles, meeting strange and intriguing characters who seep out of the past or appear in incongruous haunts around Lisbon and the surrounding territory where the book takes place. Tabucchi creates an intricate web that connects past to present, dream-life to waking. The book is filled with evocative images that seem to float free of mere plot constraints: a string bag of captive frogs let loose in the family garden, a saxophonist in a jazz bar playing to a drinker of absinthe, a single mourner at a faked funeral in a sailor’s chapel by the sea. When asked by a photographer what he is about, the protagonist answers: “It’s simple… to reach consciousness, you photograph reality: you must know what consciousness is.” Harris carries the delicate magic of consciousness from Italian into English with deceptive ease. She works with admirable precision to capture the voices of the different speakers and the details of the shifting context, yet she never sacrifices the dreamy texture of the writing.

 

Submissions for the 2019 Italian Prose in Translation Award will be accepted starting in January 2019. Please visit us at www.literarytranslators.org/awards for more information.

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1 Day to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: THIRD-MILLENNIUM HEART

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Third-Millennium Heart, shortlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry:

3rdMillenniumHeart_FINAL-smallThird-Millennium Heart
by Ursula Andkjær Olsen
translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen
(Action Books)

Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s compelling work travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book’s jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering. By the end of this insidious text, the reader is just as “namedrunk” as the book’s enigmatic lyrical subject, and discovers that their own “heartspace,” too, has been torn open, dissected, and beautifully recreated.

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