Announcing the 2021 Italian Prose in Translation Award Shortlist

September 16, 2021— ALTA is excited to announce the titles selected for the 2021 Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) shortlist! Since 2015, the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) has recognized the importance of contemporary Italian prose and promoted the translation of Italian works into English. This prize is awarded annually to a translator of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary nonfiction).

The judges of the 2021 IPTA are Stiliana Milkova, Minna Zallman Proctor, and Will Schutt.

The winning translator will receive a $5,000 cash prize and be featured with a reading when the winners of ALTA’s book prizes are announced. The awards will be announced at ALTA’s upcoming annual conference, ALTA44: Inflection Points, which will be held jointly online and in-person in Tucson, AZ. The awards ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, October 16. The virtual awards ceremony is free and open to the public: just register on ALTA’s virtual conference platform to tune in (there is a free option for events like the awards ceremony).

To learn more about the Italian Prose in Translation Award, visit the ALTA website.

The 2021 Italian Prose in Translation Award shortlist (in alphabetical order by title), accompanied by the judges’ citations:

Brief Lives of Idiots
By Ermanno Cavazzoni
Translated from Italian by Jamie Richards
(Wakefield)

A vertiginous, hybrid, genre-bending text, Ermanno Cavazzoni’s Brief Lives of Idiots at once adopts and subverts the medieval hagiographic tradition of 13th-century bestsellers such as The Lives of the Saints. Collapsing the distance between “saints” and “idiots,” the book explores the teeming insanities, ineptitudes, and pathologies of everyday life. Following the medieval model and structured as a calendar of sorts, it contains 31 stories about idiots, one for each day of the month. Translator Jamie Richards keeps pace with the book’s stylistic register, which swerves from the humorous to the absurd, from the clinical to the morbid, and from the quotidian to the marvelous. To capture the original’s diverse sources—medieval texts, medical treatises, and mental asylum records—Richards employs an equally motley English, drawing on a range of literary and philosophical texts. Her learned translator’s note is exemplary in providing the linguistic, literary, cultural, and historical contexts for Brief Lives of Idiots and for her own approach to translating it.


Diary of a Foreigner in Paris
By Curzio Malaparte
Translated from Italian and French by Stephen Twilley
(NYRB)

Stephen Twilley has given us a pitch-perfect translation of Curzio Malaparte’s unfinished chronicle of his stay in France and Switzerland in 1947 and 1948. As Malaparte writes in his preface, the diary is “a theatrical work brought to the boards of the page,” more fabulist than factual, overlain with unforgettable scenes, brief sketches, tall tales, and sweeping (at times dubious) pronouncements on the character of the French and the emergence of a new breed of European after the war. Diary of a Foreigner in Paris also presents readers with a memorable portrait of the diarist: a complicated figure, a former fascist who professes his antifascism, a social butterfly who prefers the company of dogs, a war correspondent who likes nothing better than a good story. As Edmund White points out in his inspired introduction, Malaparte may have been less important for his ideas than for his gifts as a sentence-maker; whether he is commenting on the blotting paper Proust wrote on (“a pale stain of India ink…a shadowy embroidery of branches, a forest in a fog”) or skewering the manners of Sartre’s followers (“those of a new, artificial bohemianism, which proposes to replace principles with slovenliness, ideas with a sweater”), Malaparte, in Twilley’s finely wrought translation, is delicious to read.


Dissipatio H.G.: The Vanishing
By Guido Morselli
Translated from Italian by Frederika Randall
(NYRB)

Shortly before her death in May 2020, Frederika Randall completed her translation of Guido Morselli’s Dissipatio H.G., concluding a remarkably rich career that introduced readers to iconoclastic works of Italian literature previously unavailable in English. Dissipatio H.G—the second book of Morselli’s translated by Randall, and Morselli’s last before his death by suicide in 1974—is a brief and haunting novel about a misanthropic outsider who goes out to a cave to end his life, finds the mood has left him, becomes distracted by thoughts of Spanish brandy, and re-emerges from the cave to discover he is the lone survivor of a mysterious apocalyptic event. In the absence of the human race, the self-described “Anthropophobe” mulls over his unusual position as the last man on Earth, disinters ancient and contemporary philosophy to make sense of his situation, wanders the once-populated cityscape of Chrysopolis, and contemplates the ghosts of his past. Dissipatio H.G. is a deeply interior novel, “a mixture of essay and historical invention with the psychological texture of fictional realism,” as Randall puts it in her terrific introduction. Randall delivers the ironic tone and restrained despair of Morselli’s narrator in a strikingly original English whose clean surface conceals the disquiet below.


The Garden of Monsters
By Lorenza Pieri
Translated from Italian by Liesl Schillinger
(Europa Editions)

The 1980s brought a new wave of social mobility to Italy—textile barons, industrialists, and fine food and wine exporters started moving into the social milieux formally occupied only by nobles, intellectuals, and artists. The backwater Tuscan coast of Maremma—land of horses and farms, a marshy region whose own name is a profanity…Maremma—was gentrified in that period. Summers brought a new class of middle-class vacationers from Rome and Florence; farmers started catering to tourists. That time and place is the backdrop of Lorenza Pieri’s gracious coming-of-age novel, The Garden of Monsters. With French artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s real-life monumental sculpture Tarot Garden at its center, Pieri blends the earthy realism of class, family, and adolescence with the magic of art, inspiration, and tarot. Liesl Schillinger’s debut Italian translation is wonderfully literary and as fluid as the complex idiom it captures—whether regional slang, teenage petulance, the tense subterfuge of family dynamics, the mysticism of art, or the broad stripes of class. Schillinger’s sensitive English is both alluring and transparent, a perfect complement to the raw sentiment of the novel.


Heaven and Earth
By Paolo Giordano
Translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel
(Pamela Dorman Books / Viking)

In Paolo Giordano’s novel Heaven and Earth, translator Anne Milano Appel moves deftly among lexical dimensions spanning agriculture and ecology, theology and religious faith, romantic love and infertility treatments. The story of a grassroots organic farming initiative in Puglia, Heaven and Earth is rooted in the natural and emotional landscapes of a generation of environment-conscious Italians facing the insidious effects of living in the Anthropocene. It is also a story of coming-of-age and spiritual growth, of learning to love and forgive. The narrator, Teresa, encounters a deeply religious family of foster parents living on an abandoned farm and falls in love with one of the boys, Bern. The novel traces Teresa and Bern’s relationship as it grows and matures, like the farm they create together, in haunting, yet productive ways. The metaphor of ecological fertility runs through Heaven and Earth, linking land and soil to the human body and the quests of the human mind. The translator’s virtuosity in rendering the passionate intensity, overwrought interactions, and profound resonance of this deceptively understated narrative is remarkable.

Congratulations to all the translators, authors, publishers, and editors recognized here!

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Announcing the 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize Shortlist

September 9, 2021— ALTA is excited to announce the titles selected for the 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize shortlist! The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, which was inaugurated in 2009, recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English.

The judges for the 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize are Jeffrey Angles, Maithreyi Karnoor, and Rajiv Mohabir.

The winning translator will receive a $6,000 cash prize and be featured with a reading when the winners of ALTA’s book prizes are announced. The awards will be announced at ALTA’s upcoming annual conference, ALTA44: Inflection Points, which will be held jointly online and in-person in Tucson, AZ. The awards ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, October 16. The virtual awards ceremony is free and open to the public: just register on ALTA’s virtual conference platform to tune in (there is a free option for events like the awards ceremony).

To learn more about the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, visit the ALTA website.

The 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation shortlist (in alphabetical order by title), accompanied by the judges’ citations:

Endless Song
By Nammāḻvār
Translated from Tamil by Archana Venkatesan 
(Penguin Random House India)

Endless Song is Archana Venkatesan’s monumental translation of the Tiruvāymoḻi, one of India’s most enduring bhakti poetic texts. Over the course of 1102 intricately wrought stanzas, the 9th-century Tamil poet Nammāḻvār sings of his dizzying, ecstatic love for the always-present, yet always-elusive divine. Thanks to Venkatesan’s more than three decades of work on this project, this important text now sings to us in the English-speaking world as well. In south India, this work is not just read and studied on the page, but also performed in communal readings. It is therefore appropriate that Venkatesan has crafted a translation that one can experience not only as a well-annotated, definitive work of scholarship, but also as a living, breathing work of contemporary poetry, too.   


Paper Bells
By Phan Nhiên Hạo
Translated from Vietnamese by Hai-Dang Phan 
(The Song Cave)

The lyric quality of these poems strikes hot: the ways in which the poetic device is reinterpreted carries with it a shade of both Vietnamese highlands and the countryside. The story of the poet Phan Nhiên Hao is extraordinary, in that this is an Asian American writing in an Asian language in the United States—something that is intriguing, and translated by another Asian American translator, Hai-Dang Phan. Themes of separation and longing work well to this end as the affective interiority of the multiple speakers shows a real consideration of new place, as well as a sense of wandering. Poems like “Fish in a Well” are incredibly important in their stakes of the fallout of “reeducation” and other kinds of social realities that haunt this poet. We are so glad to read this collection appearing in the United States.


The Selected Poems of Tu Fu
By Tu Fu
Translated from Chinese by David Hinton 
(New Directions)

If a poet’s works have been translated with varying degrees of excellence in the past, attempting a fresh translation is a daunting challenge. The yardsticks to measure its success are long and strong. David Hinton’s masterful translation shows it has been a beautiful accomplishment of a huge task. While the poems in this collection must be praised for their craft—tremendous control, serene imagery, and surreal denouements—the most striking feature is their contemporary appeal and modern sensibility. To look back thirteen centuries and find the concerns and hopes of the people (as seen by a deeply spiritual man) to be the same as they are now is at once immensely reassuring of the human spirit, and a great disillusionment at history’s ability to escape itself.  We feel lucky and proud to have had a chance to read this wonderfully produced book.  


Yi Sang: Selected Works
By Yi Sang
Translated from Korean and Japanese by Jack Jung, Sawako Nakayasu, Don Mee Choi, and Joyelle McSweeney 
(Wave Books)

This modernist Korean poet who wrote in Japanese and Korean shows the work of a postcolonial Korea dazzled with questions about meaning, sense, and economy of language. The approach of having four different translators—Jack Jung, Sawako Nakayasu, Don Mee Choi, and Joyelle McSweeney—in one volume does some interesting things in filling out the poet’s life and works through the various ways of reading it. What we are particularly drawn to is the strangeness of language and line, for almost the same reason that it thrills with the nuance and shifts of more traditionally lyric works. The strengths of this book in translation, along with the bilingual original writing, are the essays that beg linearity to fold in on itself. In particular, the most arresting sections are the first from Korean, as well as the translations from Japanese.

Congratulations to the shortlisted translators, authors, publishers, and editors!

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Meet the Mentors of the 2022 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program

L to R: Kareem James Abu-Zeid; Khairani Barokka (credit: Derrick Kakembo); David Boyd; Steve Bradbury; Katrina Dodson; Linda Gaboriau; Janet Hong (credit: Laura Pak); Bill Johnston; Kira Josefsson; Jack Jung; Mara Faye Lethem; Julia Sanches; Marian Schwartz

Image Description: A rectangular image with a mint-and-white chevron background, with the ALTA logo and words in white at the top, “Meet the 2022 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program Mentors!” accompanied by 13 individual pictures of people with various backgrounds; at the bottom in white is written, “Submit your applications at alta.submittable.com/submit by November 30!” Individual image descriptions follow below.

We are excited to introduce the 2022 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program mentors! The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded by former ALTA board member Allison M. Charette. The applications for the 2022 mentorship program cycle are open on our Submittable page until 11:59pm PT on November 30.

This year, ALTA is delighted to offer 13 mentorships:

  • Catalan, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem 
  • Japanese, with mentor David Boyd 
  • Korean poetry, with mentor Jack Jung 
  • Korean prose, with mentor Janet Hong 
  • Non-language-specific BIPOC mentorship, with mentor Katrina Dodson (open to translators who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color)
  • Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Kareem James Abu-Zeid 
  • Polish, with mentor Bill Johnston 
  • Prose from Québec, with mentor Linda Gaboriau 
  • Russian prose, with mentor Marian Schwartz 
  • Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Khairani Barokka 
  • Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Julia Sanches (open to Singaporean nationals) 
  • Swedish, with mentor Kira Josefsson 
  • Literature from Taiwan, with mentor Steve Bradbury 

Learn more about the mentors below! View our webpage for more information, our submissions portal to submit, and find answers to common questions at the mentorship FAQ. If you want to see what former mentees have accomplished, follow this link. You can watch a live streamed reading from the 2020 mentees here


Kareem James Abu-Zeid, PhD, is an award-winning translator of poets and novelists from across the Arab world who translates from Arabic, French, and German. His work has earned him an NEA translation grant, PEN Center USA’s Translation Award, Poetry magazine’s translation prize, residencies from the Lannan Foundation and the Banff Centre, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany, and a CASA Fellowship in Egypt, among other honors. He is also the author of The Poetics of Adonis and Yves Bonnefoy: Poetry as Spiritual Practice (Lockwood Press, 2021). The online hub for his work is www.kareemjamesabuzeid.com.

Image description: Kareem, a brown-skinned man with curly black hair that goes down to his shoulders, is standing in front of a grey backdrop. Kareem is smiling at the camera, and is wearing a white button-down shirt with the top button undone and a black blazer.


Khairani Barokka is a Minang-Javanese writer and artist in London, with over two decades’ experience translating professionally from Indonesian into English. Okka’s work has been presented in 16 countries, she was a judge for the National Centre for Writing’s Visible Communities Translator Residency, and is a returning judge for the Stephen Spender Trust Prize for Poetry in Translation. She was Modern Poetry in Translation‘s Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, and is currently Research Fellow at University of the Arts London, UK Associate Artist at Delfina Foundation, and Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing. Okka’s latest book (with a bilingual title) is Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches).

Image description: Black and white photo of an Indonesian woman with short hair, earrings, and a patterned dress, lying down on her front, pen in hand, ready to write. Pic credit: Derrick Kakembo.


David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated fiction by Hiroko Oyamada and Mieko Kawakami, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat won the 2017/2018 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.


Steve Bradbury is an artist and writer who taught Modernist literature in Taiwan for many years and translates the work of contemporary Chinese-language poets. His most recent book-length translation, Amang’s Raised by Wolves: poems and conversations (Deep Vellum/Phoneme Media), won the 2021 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. This is his second stint as a mentor for the ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program.


Katrina Dodson is the translator of The Complete Stories, by Clarice Lispector, winner of the PEN Translation Prize and other awards. She is currently adapting her Lispector translation journal into a book and translating the 1928 Brazilian modernist classic Macunaíma: The Hero With No Character by Mário de Andrade (New Directions, forthcoming 2022). Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. Dodson holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and teaches translation at Columbia University.

Image description: Katrina, a mixed-race Vietnamese American woman with black hair in a long bob with bangs, smiles at the camera against a background of evergreen foliage in soft focus. Her dark V-neckline top has a geometric pattern of blue-green curved lines.


Linda Gaboriau is a literary translator and dramaturg based in Montreal. Her translations from the French of fiction and essays by Québec authors have been shortlisted for Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award. She has specialized in translating drama and has translated more than 120 plays, including the works of some of Québec’s most prominent playwrights. Her translations have been published and widely produced across Canada and abroad. Her work has garnered many awards including the Governor General’s Award for Translation in 1996, 2012 and again in 2019. For several years, she was an associate director of the Banff playRites Colony (in charge of translation projects) and was the founding director (2002-2007) of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre.


Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She received the 2018 TA First Translation Prize and the 2018 LTI Korea Translation Award for her translation of Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale, which was also a finalist for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize and the 2018 National Translation Award. Her translation of Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass won the 2020 Harvey Award for Best International Book and the 2020 Krause Essay Prize. Her recent translations include Ha Seong-nan’s Bluebeard’s First Wife, Yeon-sik Hong’s Umma’s Table, and Ancco’s Nineteen.


Bill Johnston’s awards include the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry for Adam Mickiewicz’s verse narrative Pan Tadeusz (Archipelago Books), a translation supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship; the 2017 Found in Translation Award for Tomasz Różycki’s mock epic poem Twelve Stations (Zephyr Press); the 2014 Transatlantyk Prize; and the 2012 PEN Translation Prize and Best Translated Book Award, both for Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books). He has twice been on the faculty at the Bread Loaf Translators Conference, and has previously served five times as mentor for the ALTA mentorships. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.


Kira Josefsson is a writer, editor, and literary translator working between English and Swedish. The recipient of grants from the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Katharine Bakeless Nason Endowment, the Swedish Arts Council, and others, her work can be read in places like Granta, Svenska Dagbladet, The Nation, Göteborgs-Posten, and Triple Canopy. Recent book-length translations and collaborations include Johanna Hedman’s The Trio, out 2022 with Hamish Hamilton, and editing Fia Backström’s translation of Åke Hodell’s The Marathon Poet (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020). Based in Queens, New York, she serves on the editorial board of Glänta, a Swedish journal of arts and politics.

Image description: Kira, a white woman with brown hair slicked back into a ponytail, is standing on an elevated New York subway platform. She’s wearing an all-black outfit with a leather jacket and gold hoop earrings. The sun has started to set behind a brick building and the clouds in the sky.


Jack Jung is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. His translations of Korean poet Yi Sang’s poetry and prose are published in Yi Sang: Selected Works by Wave Books. He is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Davidson College. 


Mara Faye Lethem’s work as a translator has been recognized with two English PEN Awards, a National Translation Award nomination, a Warwick Prize for Women in Translation nomination, three Dublin Literary Award nominations, and a residency at Art Omi’s Translation Lab. Her recent translations include novels by Patricio Pron, Max Besora, Javier Calvo, Marta Orriols, Toni Sala, and Irene Solà. She is currently translating the complete short stories of Pere Calders.


Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Julia Sanches is the author of more than a dozen translations from Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan into English. Her translations and writing have appeared in Granta, LitHub, The Paris Review Daily, and The Common, among others. She has received support for her work from the PEN Heim, PEN Translates, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Julia sits on the Council of the Authors Guild, where she advocates for fairer terms for literary translators.

Image descrption: This black-and-white photograph shows a light-skinned woman with shoulder-length hair, tortoise-shell glasses, and bronze cicada earrings. She is wearing a dark-colored shirt and a bag hanging off her shoulder. Her eyes are trained directly at the camera as the sun casts the shadow of her glasses across her cheeks and of her chin across her neck.


Marian Schwartz

Marian Schwartz translates Russian classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including two NEA Translation Fellowships, the 2014 Read Russia Prize for Contemporary Literature, and the 2018 Linda Gaboriau Award for Translation awarded by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and is a past president of ALTA. Her latest translations are Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s March 1917: The Red Wheel, Node III, book 3 and Nina Berberova’s first novel, The Last and the First.

Image description: Marian, an older white woman with short silver hair, faces backward in a white chair, her hands crossed at the wrist. She wears a black suit jacket over a gray top and a silver necklace and earrings, and her light smile attempts to take the intimidation out of Russian literature.


These mentorships are offered by ALTA in partnership with Amazon Crossing, anonymous individual donors, the Institut Ramon Llull, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the National Arts Council Singapore, the Polish Cultural Institute New York, the Russian Federation Institute for Literary Translation, the Swedish Arts CouncilTaiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO-LA), the Québec Government Office in New York, and the Yanai Initiative.

Submit here by 11:59pm PT on November 30!

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Announcing the 2021 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose Longlists

September 2, 2021—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the longlists for the 2021 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose! 2021 marks the twenty-third year for the NTA, and the seventh 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.

Featuring authors writing in 13 different languages, this year’s longlists expand the prize’s dedication to literary diversity in English. The selection criteria include the quality of the finished English language book, and the quality of the translation. This year’s prose judges are Jennifer Croft, Anton Hur, and Annie Janusch. This year’s judges for poetry are Sinan Antoon, Layla Benitez-James, and Sibelan Forrester.

The winning translators will receive a $2,500 cash prize each. The awards will be announced at ALTA’s annual conference, ALTA44: Inflection Points, which this year is being held jointly online and in-person in Tucson, AZ. The virtual awards ceremony will be aired on Saturday, October 16, at 5:00pm PT. To attend, register via the virtual conference platform (there is also a free ticket option that includes public events like this one.) The shortlists will be announced at the end of September. In the meantime, ALTA will highlight each book on the longlists with citations written by the judges here on the ALTA blog, starting in mid-September.

The 2021 National Translation Award in Prose Longlist (in alphabetical order by title):

Amora: Stories
By Natalia Borges Polesso
Translated from Portuguese by Julia Sanches
(Amazon Crossing)

Breasts and Eggs
By Mieko Kawakami
Translated from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd
(Europa Editions)

Difficult Light
By Tomás González
Translated from Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg
(Archipelago Books)

Humus
By Fabienne Kanor
Translated from French by Lynn E. Palermo
(University of Virginia Press)

I Live in the Slums
By Can Xue
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping
(Yale University Press)

Impostures
By al-Ḥarīrī
Translated from Arabic by Michael Cooperson
(Library of Arabic Literature/NYU Press)

The King of Warsaw
By Szczepan Twardoch
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
(Amazon Crossing)

No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories
By Jayant Kaikini
Translated from Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana
(Catapult)

The Other Name: Septology I-II
By Jon Fosse
Translated from Norwegian by Damion Searls
(Transit Books)

Shameless
By Taslima Nasreen
Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha
(HarperCollins India)

Stories for the Years
By Luigi Pirandello
Translated from Italian by Virginia Jewiss
(Yale University Press)

Stories of the Sahara
By Sanmao
Translated from Chinese by Mike Fu
(Bloomsbury Publishing)



The 2021 National Translation Award in Poetry Longlist (in alphabetical order by title):

Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana’s Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers: A Bilingual Edition
By various authors
Translated from French by Clint Bruce
(The Historic New Orleans Collection)

Agadir
By Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine
Translated from French by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak
(Diálogos)

Allegria
By Giuseppe Ungaretti
Translated from Italian by Geoffrey Brock
(Archipelago Books)

Beowulf
By an unknown author
Translated from Old English by Maria Dahvana Headley
(MCD x FSG Originals)

Dead Letter Office: Selected Poems
By Marko Pogačar
Translated from Croatian by Andrea Jurjević
(The Word Works)

I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other
By Ulrike Almut Sandig
Translated from German by Karen Leeder
(Seagull Books)

My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems
By Yi Lei
Translated from Chinese by Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi
(Graywolf Press)

The Olive Trees’ Jazz and Other Poems
By Samira Negrouche
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
(Pleiades Press)

Phone Bells Keep Ringing for Me
By Choi Seungja
Translated from Korean by Won-Chung Kim and Cathy Park Hong
(Action Books)

Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry
By various authors
Translated from Arabic, French, and Tamazight by Deborah Kapchan with Driss Marjane
(Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UT Austin)

The Selected Poems of Tu Fu
By Tu Fu
Translated from Chinese by David Hinton
(New Directions)

Unexpected Vanilla
By Lee Hyemi
Translated from Korean by Soje
(Tilted Axis Press)

Congratulations to all of the translators, authors, publishers, and editors recognized here!

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2022 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program Open for Submissions

September 1, 2021–The American Literary Translators Association is delighted to announce that the 2022 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program submission portals are open!

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is nine months. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in that time, and they will only be advised on that particular project. ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded by former ALTA board member Allison M. Charette.

All mentors and mentees meet via video conference at the beginning of their mentorship in February, and continue their work through individual meetings during the rest of the mentorship either in person, over Skype, or by phone. A minimum of six meetings is expected during the course of the mentorship. The mentorship will conclude with a presentation of the mentee’s work in a reading at the annual ALTA conference in the fall. 

For more information, please see our website for details, as well as introductions to former mentees and their accomplishments. 

The following 13 mentorships are available in 2022, offered by ALTA in partnership with Amazon Crossing, anonymous individual donors, the Institut Ramon Llull, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the National Arts Council Singapore, the Polish Cultural Institute New York, the Russian Federation Institute for Literary Translation, the Swedish Arts Council, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO-LA), the Québec Government Office in New York, and the Yanai Initiative

  • Catalan, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem 
  • Japanese, with mentor David Boyd 
  • Korean poetry, with mentor Jack Jung 
  • Korean prose, with mentor Janet Hong 
  • Non-language-specific BIPOC mentorship, with mentor Katrina Dodson (open to translators who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color)
  • Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Kareem James Abu-Zeid 
  • Polish, with mentor Bill Johnston 
  • Prose from Québec, with mentor Linda Gaboriau 
  • Russian prose, with mentor Marian Schwartz 
  • Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Khairani Barokka 
  • Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Julia Sanches (open to Singaporean nationals) 
  • Swedish, with mentor Kira Josefsson 
  • Literature from Taiwan, with mentor Steve Bradbury 

Applications must be submitted online through our submission platform, and must include: 

  • CV
  • A project proposal of no more than 1,000 words. Projects must be reasonably expected to be completed within the scope of the nine-month mentorship. Proposals should include information about the original author and importance of the source text, as well as how the emerging translator would benefit from mentorship. 
  • A sample translation of 8-10 pages (double-spaced if prose) from the proposed project, along with the corresponding source text IN ONE DOCUMENT.

The program is open to emerging translators at no cost to them. An emerging translator is someone who has published no more than one full-length work of translation. While ALTA’s Mentorship Program is open to all applicants, we especially encourage applications from translators of color, translators with disabilities, LGBTQ+ translators, and those who don’t have an MA, an MFA, or some other equivalent type of training, such as a mentorship from the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translator Mentorships (UK). Though English is the target language, the emerging translator need not live in the United States. The selected mentee’s proposed project will be worked on based on availability (applicants are not expected to secure rights for their proposal, though we encourage applicants to check on the status of the rights). The award covers ALTA conference registration, as well as travel to the conference location and on-site accommodations, up to $1,500. 

This program is distinct from the ALTA Travel Fellowships. Previous years’ Fellows are welcome to apply for the mentorship. Applicants may apply to both programs in the same year, but only may only receive one award. 

The timeline for the mentorship program application process is: 

September 1, 2021: Submissions open
November 30, 2021: Submissions close
Late January, 2022: Selected mentees notified
Early February, 2022: Selected mentees announced
Early February, 2022: Mentorship program begins with a virtual meeting
November 2-5, 2022: Mentorship program ends with a reading at ALTA45 in Tucson, AZ

Please see our mentorship FAQ for answers to common questions about the program, and direct any additional questions to ALTA Program Manager Kelsi Vanada at kelsi@literarytranslators.org.

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