Announcing the 2020 Shortlists for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose

September 30, 2020—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2020 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose! 2020 marks the twenty-second year for the NTA, and the sixth 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 9 different languages, this year’s shortlists continue 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 Amaia Gabantxo, Emmanuel D. Harris II, and William Maynard Hutchins. This year’s judges for poetry are Ilya Kaminsky, Lisa Katz, and Farid Matuk.

The winning translators will receive a $2,500 cash prize each. The awards will be announced at ALTA’s annual conference, which this year has gone virtual. The awards ceremony will air on October 15, 2020 on ALTA’s Crowdcast page: you can register to attend the NTA in Prose announcement here, and the NTA in Poetry announcement here.


The 2020 NTA Shortlist in Prose (in alphabetical order by title):

Beyond Babylon
by Igiaba Scego
translated from the Italian by Aaron Robertson
(Two Lines Press)

The Cheffe
by Marie NDiaye
translated from the French by Jordan Stump
(Alfred A. Knopf)

A Couple of Soles
by Li Yu
translated from the Chinese by Jing Shen and Robert E. Hegel
(Columbia University Press)

God’s Wife
by Amanda Michalopoulou
translated from the Greek (Modern) by Patricia Felisa Barbeito
(Dalkey Archive Press)

Optic Nerve
by María Gainza
translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead
(Catapult)

Zuleikha
by Guzel Yakhina
translated from the Russian by Lisa C. Hayden
(Oneworld)

The 2020 NTA Shortlist in Poetry (in alphabetical order by title):

The Battle Between the Frogs and the Mice: A Tiny Homeric Epic
by an unknown author
translated from the Greek by A.E. Stallings
(Paul Dry Books)

Hysteria
by Kim Yideum
translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, Soeun Seo, Hedgie Choi
(Action Books)

The Last Innocence/The Lost Adventures
by Alejandra Pizarnik
translated from the Spanish by Cecilia Rossi
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

Room in Rome
by Jorge Eduardo Eielson
translated from the Spanish by David Shook
(Cardboard House Press)

Tell Me, Kenyalang
by Kulleh Grasi
translated from the Malay by Pauline Fan
(Circumference Books)

The Winter Garden Photograph
by Reina María Rodríguez
translated from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra with Nancy Gates Madsen
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

If you want to read these titles before the announcements of the winners on October 15, get them from our Bookshop.org page! When you purchase from Bookshop.org, you support ALTA and local bookstores. Find the National Translation Award in Prose titles on Bookshop.org here, and the National Translation Award in Poetry titles here.

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

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