The NTA Countdown to ALTA44: Allegria

Join us as we count down to the ALTA44: Inflection Points awards ceremony with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose longlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. 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.)

Join us as we shine the spotlight today on this NTA longlisted title, along with a citation penned by the judges:

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

Ungaretti’s first book-length collection of poems appeared almost a century ago. It transformed modern Italian poetry and announced the arrival of a unique voice in world poetry. Although conceived when he was fighting in the trenches of WWI, and penned on military postcards, blank spaces in letters, and the margins of newspapers, these poems are the antithesis of war and what it stands for. The slender poems celebrate life, inflecting its light, memory, and mystery, and seizing the eternal from the seemingly ephemeral in vivid and striking imagery. This elegant translation preserves Ungaretti’s economy and his pursuit of poetic purity.

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