Meet the 2020 Virtual ALTA Travel Fellows!

L to R: Shoshana Akabas; Karen Hung Curtis; Alex Karsavin; Jamie Lauer; Dong Li; Kristen Renee Miller; Laura Nagle; Ena Selimović; Öykü Tekten

The winners of the 2020 Virtual Travel Fellowships, including the fifth annual Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship, are here! Normally there are 4-6 $1,000 fellowships to bring emerging (unpublished or minimally-published) translators to the ALTA conference. With the shift to a virtual conference this year in light of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, there are instead nine $500 fellowships, including two Peter K. Jansen Memorial Fellowships, to celebrate this year’s Virtual Travel Fellows at ALTA43. 

ALTA will celebrate this year’s Virtual Travel Fellows with a downloadable audio chapbook of the Fellows reading from their winning translations, introduced by 2009 Travel Fellow Robin Myers. This audio chapbook will be released on Thursday, October 8, at 2:00pm ET on ALTA’s Soundcloud page.

This year’s winners were selected by judges David Ball, Bonnie Chau, and Tenzin Dickie. The 2020 ALTA Travel Fellowships are made possible thanks to the generous support of ALTA’s Past Presidents Council, the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fund, and numerous individual donors. Congratulations to these exceptional emerging translators, listed here in alphabetical order by last name, and learn more about them all in one place on our 2020 Virtual Travel Fellows Brochure:

Shoshana Akabas | Hebrew
Shoshana Akabas is a New York City based writer, translator, and teacher. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she taught for several years. Her writing and translations can be found in The Washington Post, The Kenyon Review, Asymptote, DoubleSpeak, The Believer, Electric Literature, and Elle Magazine, among others. Learn more about Shoshana here.

Karen Hung Curtis | Hong Kong Chinese | Peter K. Jansen Memorial Fellow
Karen Hung Curtis is a Hong Kong writer and translator. She was the recipient of a Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry and Translation Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in 2019, and is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she is translating Hong Kong author Wong Bik-wan. Learn more about Karen here.

Alex Karsavin | Russian
Alex Karsavin is a translator and writer based in Chicago. They are the translations & poetry editor at H​​omintern magazine​, and occasionally the ​​Zahir Review​.​ Their writing and translations have appeared in ​​The New Inquiry, ​​Columbia Journal, PenAmerica, Sreda, Sick Muse, and are forthcoming in “F-Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry” (Isolari Press). They are currently co-translating Ilya Danishevsky’s Mannelig in Chains with Anne Fisher, funded by the University of Exeters’ RusTrans project. Learn more about Alex here.

Jamie Lauer | Spanish
Jamie Lauer is a Spanish–English translator and freelance editor committed to bringing more female voices from Latin America into translation. She holds an MA in comparative literature and a certificate in literary translation from Indiana University Bloomington, and she was awarded World Literature Today’s 2020 Student Translation Prize for Prose. Learn more about Jamie here.

Dong Li | Mandarin Chinese | Peter K. Jansen Memorial Fellow
Dong Li is an English-language poet and translates from Chinese, English and German. He’s the recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Grant and fellowships from Humboldt Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Yaddo and elsewhere. His full-length translation of the Chinese poet Zhu Zhu The Wild Great Wall was published by Phoneme Media. Learn more about Dong here.

Kristen Renee Miller | French
Kristen Renee Miller’s work appears in POETRY, The Kenyon Review, Guernica and Best New Poets 2018. She is the translator of SPAWN, by Ilnu Nation poet Marie-Andrée Gill. A recipient of honors from The Kennedy Center, The Humana Festival, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, she lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is the managing editor for Sarabande. Learn more about Kristen here.

Laura Nagle | French, Irish, Spanish
Laura Nagle is a freelance translator and writer based in Indianapolis. She holds an MA in Romance languages from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently translating Prosper Mérimée’s genre-defying 1827 hoax La Guzla from the French and working on her first novel. Learn more about Laura here.

Ena Selimović | Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Ena Selimović is a literary translator working from Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian into English. She is currently translating the novel Underground Barbie by Maša Kolanović. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research on multilingualism brings a relational approach to the study of contemporary American and Southeast European literatures. Learn more about Ena here.

Öykü Tekten | Turkish
Öykü Tekten is a poet, translator, and editor living between Granada and New York. She is also a founding member of Pinsapo, an art and publishing experience with a particular focus on work in and about translation, and a contributing editor and archivist with Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Learn more about Öykü here.

The following applicants are here honorably mentioned as this year’s Virtual Travel Fellowship finalists:
Maria Garcia
Anna Prawdzik Hull
Mia Spangenberg
Layla Benitez-James

Congratulations to this year’s Virtual Travel Fellows! The audio chapbook will be free and open to the public, but we hope you’ll check out the ALTA43: In Between schedule, and register for this year’s virtual conference, which kicks off next Tuesday, September 29.

This entry was posted in ALTA Conference, ALTA Fellows. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Meet the 2020 Virtual ALTA Travel Fellows!

  1. Sibelan Forrester says:

    How great that depressing Covid travel restrictions nevertheless led to a bigger group of impressive (Virtual) ALTA Travel Fellows! I hope the format will allow us to welcome them as warmly as in the traditional readings.

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