Meet the 2017 Judges of the National Translation Award in Prose!

The National Translation Award is awarded annually in poetry and in prose to literary translators who have made an outstanding contribution to literature in English by masterfully recreating the artistic force of a book of consummate quality. The NTA is the oldest prize for a work of literary translation in English, and the only one to include an evaluation of the source language text.

Submissions for the National Translation Award in Prose are being accepted until April 7, 2017. This year’s judges are Carol Apollonio, Eric Becker, and Ottilie Mulzet. Learn more about them here:

Carol Apollonio is Professor of the Practice of Russian at Duke University, author of the book Dostoevsky’s Secrets, and editor and author of books and articles on nineteenth-century Russian literature, specializing in Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and problems of translation. Recipient of the centennial Chekhov medal from the Russian Ministry of Culture (2010), she currently serves as president of the North American Dostoevsky Society. Translator of books from the Russian and the Japanese, including works by Kizaki Satoko, German Sadulaev, and, most recently, Alisa Ganieva. Her forthcoming project is a translation of Ganieva’s 2015 novel Bride and Groom.

Eric M. B. Becker is an award-winning literary


credit: Luisa Leme

translator, journalist, and editor of Words without Borders. In 2014, he earned a PEN/Heim grant for his translations of Mia Couto. In 2016, he earned a Fulbright fellowship to translate Brazilian literature. Becker’s translations include work by Mia Couto, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, and Lygia Fagundes Telles in such publications as The New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, and World Literature Today.

ottilie-mulzet_nta-proseOttilie Mulzet translates from Hungarian and Mongolian, and writes literary criticism. Her translation of László Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below won the Best Translated Book Award in 2014, and in 2015, she shared the Translator’s Prize with poet and fellow translator George Szirtes for László Krasznahorkai’s lifetime achievement Man Booker International Prize. Forthcoming translations include Lazarus, by Gábor Schein (Seagull Books, 2017), and The Homecoming of Baron Wenckheim by László Krasznahorkai (New Directions, 2018). In addition, she is completing a dissertation about Mongolian riddles, and a book of translations of Mongolian Buddhist legends.

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A Joint Statement on the Executive Order Restricting Immigrant and Refugee Entry into the US

January 31, 2017—We the undersigned wish to affirm that freedom of expression and unfettered exchange of ideas are among the core tenets of our society as much as they are indispensable means of cross-cultural understanding and peaceful co-existence. Writers, translators and interpreters would be vulnerable to the far-reaching consequences of the travel ban; these professionals are crucial to the advancement of cross-cultural cooperation, and their efforts would be harmed by the corrosive effects of distrust and exclusion. If national security is our priority, we should recognize that we are safer with the knowledge translators provide about the culture, values, and humanity of other countries. At a time in history when people feel so divided, we believe that our stories—and the people who make it possible to hear them told—are critical to sustaining our coexistence. We voice our support for the refugees fleeing wars—for whom the U.S. has always been a place of refuge, and whose spirit of creativity and innovation has made our cultural and artistic life all the richer and infinitely more diverse. Turning away today’s refugees may amount to turning down immeasurable human potential. We therefore urge the President to rescind the travel ban immediately.

American Literary Translators Association
Center for the Art of Translation
PEN America Translation Committee & Subcommittee on Freedom of Expression
Red T
Words Without Borders

Supporting Organizations
Anomalous Press
Anaphora Literary Press
Bellevue Literary Press
Book/Mark Quarterly Review
The Common Literary Magazine
Coffee House Press
Cider Press
Drunken Boat Journal
Genre Press
The Georgia Review
Hanging Loose Press
Kaya Press
Litmus Press
Little Star
Mayapple Press
Milkweed Editions
Montez Prss
New England Review
O Books
Oberlin College Press
Perugia Press
Poet Lore
The Post-Apollo Press
A Public Space
Pusteblume Journal
Shade Mountain Press
Springhouse Journal
St. Petersburg Review
Transit Books
Tin House Magazine


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Bookfair Bingo at AWP17!


Are you planning on being at AWP in Washington, DC this year?

Want a chance to win some fantastic recent translation titles? (Like this one? Or this? How about this one?)

Then have we got some news for you! Join us for our 3rd year of hosting a game of Bookfair Bingo where you’ll have FOUR chances to win a stack of 13 translated titles generously donated by participating presses!

The rules are simple:
1) Visit ALTA at booth 212 at the AWP Bookfair and pick up a bingo card featuring 16 wonderful presses that publish literature in translation
2) Visit each press featured on the card at the bookfair
3) Get them to sign it
4) Return the completed card to ALTA’s booth for entry in one of four drawings!

Winners will be notified after drawings on Thursday, February 9 at 4:30pm, Friday, February 10 at 12:00pm and 4:30pm, and Saturday, February 11 at 12:00pm. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase!

Love the Bingo? Tweet at us! ALTA’s Twitter handle is @LitTranslate — we want to feature you, the books you love, and your progress with Bookfair Bingo throughout AWP!

Here are just some of the titles you could win:

9781555977627 frontier-26_large lighthouse_finalfront_web_large lightwall_wnomura1bye_bye_blondie_c

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2017 Cliff Becker Book Prize Winner

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 fifth annual Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, which produces one volume of literary translation in English, annually.

This year’s winning manuscript is Purifications or the Sign of Retaliation by Myriam Fraga, translated by Chloe Hill. The book will be published by White Pine Press in fall 2017 and launched at ALTA’s annual conference, ALTA40: Reflections/Refractions, in Minneapolis, MN in October 2017.

Judges Aron Aji and Diana Thow said of the winning manuscript:

“These are dense, florid, strange, and beautiful poems that rewrite the Greek pantheon into a feminist Brazilian landscape. The collection makes its way from these abstract, timeless myths to vibrant present tense, the journey culminating with a moving final poem-elegy for modern-day bard: John Lennon. The translator has created a beautiful voice in English, paying special attention to the clean sound, powerful movement, and aching pulse of each line, making this translation a pleasure to read and re-read. Since the poet Myriam Fraga passed away this year, the Cliff Becker prize not only represents a special opportunity to introduce an innovative and powerful lyric voice in translation to an English readership, but also allows us space to mourn the loss of a great poet, just as we’ve discovered her.”

The major motifs of Fraga’s expansive body of work include the ocean – and by extension islands, voyages, and shipwrecks –; the city, most often Salvador da Bahia; ancestrality; and mythology of such diverse incarnations as African fables, biblical legend, and Greek epic. She tightly weaves this imagery to contemplate on memory and the collective history of Salvador, Brazil, and the world.

Myriam Fraga up until her passing in February 2016 was, and continues to be, one of the leading literary figures of Salvador da Bahia. She produced over 10 volumes of poetry plus several children’s books on popular figures in Bahian culture.

Chloe Hill is a PhD student in the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University. In 2014, with the support of a Fulbright fellowship, she traveled to Brazil to work alongside Myriam Fraga translating a selection of poems. Her translations have appeared in Metamorphoses: The Five-College Literary Translation Journal and Exchanges: The University of Iowa Literary Translation Journal.

Diana Thow translates from the Italian; her co-translation of Elisa Biagini’s The Guest in the Wood won the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2014.

Aron Aji translates from the Turkish. He is the director of the MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa and president of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

Submissions for the sixth annual (2018) Cliff Becker Prize will be accepted through April 7, 2017.

Please visit us at for more information.

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Write for ALTA!

ALTA is seeking blog contributors to write for the Literary Translators WordPress blog!

If you love translation and have something to say about it, we want to hear from you.

At the ALTA blog, we encourage many types of writing about translation, including:

If you want to contribute to the worldwide conversation on translation, contact us at and we can help give you a platform!

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