National Translation Award in Poetry

The National Translation Award in Poetry is awarded annually to a literary translator who has made an outstanding contribution to literature in English by masterfully recreating the artistic force of a book of consummate quality.

The winning and finalist books and translators for 2015 will be featured at the 38th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Tucson, AZ.

The National Translation Award (NTA) will be awarded in two categories—Prose and Poetry—beginning in 2015. In it’s 17th year, the $5,000 NTA is the longest-standing prize for a work of literary translation, and the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of the source text and its relation to the finished English work.

Publishers are invited to submit translated works of poetry published in 2014. Hybrid works and drama are welcome, and may be submitted to either category as determined appropriate by the publisher.

Nominations must be made through our nomination portal, and open January 1, 2015 and close May 1, 2015. The winning and finalist books and translators for 2015 will be featured at the 38th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Tucson, AZ.

The NTA supports ALTA’s goal of enhancing the status of literary translation, improving the quality of literary translating, and broadening the market for works in English translation. Recent winners include Richard Wilbur (2008), Norman Shapiro (2009), Alex Zucker (2010), Lisa Rose Bradford (2011), Sinan Antoon (2012), Phillip Boehm (2013), Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich (2014). The award-winning book and translator for 2015 will be featured at the 38th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Tucson, AZ.

To be eligible for the 2015 National Translation Award in Poetry, the translation must be:

  • by an American citizen or U.S. resident
  • from any language into English
  • of a book-length work of poetry, prose poetry, or verse drama
  • published anywhere in the world in 2014.

The deadline for nominating books published in 2014 is May 1, 2015.

For books chosen by the judges as finalists, publishers will be asked to provide the original-language text; any finalist for which no original-language text is provided will be excluded from further consideration.

Upon completion of the submission, publishers will receive instructions for mailing print copies of submitted titles to those judges who are unable to review electronic submissions. Postmark deadline for mailing printed submissions is May 8, 2015.

The 2015 NTA in Poetry will be judged by the following jury:

Lisa Rose Bradford teaches Comparative Literature at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina, and her poems and translations have appeared in various magazines. She has edited three compendiums on Translation and Cultural Studies: Traducción como cultura, La cultura de los géneros, and “Crítica cultural en Latinoamérica: paradigmas globales y enunciaciones locales,” Dispositio/n 51, 2000. Since 2010, she has published two anthologies of U.S. poetry translated into Spanish: Usos de la imaginación: poetas latin@s en EE.UU. and Los pájaros, por la nieve. Antología de la poesía femenina contemporánea de los Estados Unidos, as well as three bilingual volumes of Juan Gelman’s verse, Between Words: Juan Gelman’s Public Letter (recipient of the National Translation Award), Commentaries and Citations, and Com/positions. She is presently finishing a fourth volume, “Oxen Rage,” which was initiated under the auspices of an NEA grant.

Stephen Kessler is a poet, translator, essayist and editor whose most recent books include Where Was I? (prose poems),Need I Say More? Portraits, Confessions, Reflections (essays), and Forbidden Pleasures: New Selected Poems [1924-1949] by Luis Cernuda (translation). He is the editor and principal translator of The Sonnets by Jorge Luis Borges, and from 1999 through 2014 was the editor of The Redwood Coast Review. His previous versions of Luis Cernuda, Written in Water andDesolation of the Chimera, received (respectively) a Lambda Literary Award and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets (judged by Edith Grossman). Other recent books include Scratch Pegasus(poems) and Poems of Consummation by Vicente Aleixandre (translation). More at

Diana Thow received her MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa in 2008. With the poet Sarah Stickney she translated Elisa Biagini’s L’ospite, which appeared in Biagini’s selected poems The Guest in the Wood (Chelsea Editions, 2013) and won the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2014. Her co-translation with Gian Maria Annovi of Amelia Rosselli’s long poem Impromptu is forthcoming with Guernica Editions in 2015.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.


2 Responses to National Translation Award in Poetry

  1. Pingback: National Translation Award & Stryk Asian Translation Prize Accepting Nominations | ALTA Talk

  2. Pingback: The Absolute is a Round Die and Elsewhere on Earth: Longlisted for ALTA National Translation Award in Poetry – Guernica Editions | News

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