Meet the Mentors of the 2023 ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program

A composite image of the headshots of the 2023 ALTA program mentors over a mint background, with the ALTA logo in the upper left hand corner and a heading that reads, "Meet the 2023 ALTA Emerging Translators Mentorship Program Mentors!" Underneath the mentors' photos is text that reads, "Submit at alta.submittable.com/submit by November 30!"
L to R: David Boyd; Steve Bradbury; Janet Hong (photo credit: Laura Pak); Bill Johnston; Kira Josefsson; Jack Jung; David McKay; Mui Poopoksakul

We are excited to introduce the 2023 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. This program was founded by former ALTA Board member Allison M. Charette. The applications for the 2023 mentorship program cycle are open on our Submittable page until 11:59pm PT on November 30, 2022.

The following 8 mentorships are available in 2023: 

  • Dutch prose, with mentor David McKay
  • Japanese, with mentor David Boyd 
  • Korean poetry, with mentor Jack Jung 
  • Korean prose, with mentor Janet Hong 
  • Non-language-specific BIPOC mentorship in prose, with mentor Mui Poopoksakul (open to translators who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color)
  • Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Bill Johnston 
  • Swedish, with mentor Kira Josefsson 
  • Literature from Taiwan, with mentor Steve Bradbury 

Learn more about the mentors below! 

Headshot of David Boyd

David Boyd is assistant professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translation of Hideo Furukawa’s Slow Boat won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature in 2018, and his translation of Hiroko Oyamada’s The Hole won the same prize in 2021.

Image description: David, a white man in a black shirt with short dark hair, is standing in front of a yellow brick wall, looking to his left and smiling.


Headshot of Steve Bradbury

Steve Bradbury translates the work of contemporary Chinese-language poets. His last book-length publication, Raised by Wolves: Poems and Conversations (Deep Vellum), won the 2020 PEN America Poetry in Translation Award.

Image description: In this black and white photo, Steve is looking to the side with a big smile. He wears a banded straw hat and a shirt with palm trees on it.


Headshot of Janet Hong

Janet Hong is a writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. She has received numerous awards for her translations, including the TA First Translation Prize, the LTI Korea Translation Award, the Krause Essay Prize, and the Harvey Award for Best International Book. Recent translations include Kwon Yeo-sun’s Lemon and Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass.

Image description: This black-and-white photograph shows a Korean woman with dark shoulder-length hair, wearing a black V-neck sweater. She is looking at the camera against a gray background. Photo credit: Laura Pak


Headshot of Bill Johnston

Bill Johnston’s translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s 1834 rhyming verse epic Pan Tadeusz won the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry. His recent translations include Jean Giono’s Ennemonde (Archipelago 2021) and Jeanne Benameur’s The Child Who (Calypso Editions 2020 and Les Fugitives 2022). He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

Image description: Bill, a white man with very short hair and a short-trimmed gray beard, is standing outside, smiling at the camera and squinting his eyes against the sun. Behind him are snow-covered mountains. Bill is wearing a blue t-shirt and has a small silver pendant on a thin chain around his neck.


Headshot of Kira Josefsson

Kira Josefsson is a writer, editor, and translator between English and Swedish. The winner of a PEN/Heim grant, her translations include Johanna Hedman’s The Trio, Hanna Johansson’s Antiquity, and Quynh Tran’s Shade and Breeze. Based in New York City, she writes about the US for Swedish press and serves on the editorial board of Glänta.

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.


Headshot of Jack Jung

Jack Jung is a co-translator of Yi Sang: Selected Works (Wave Books 2020), the winner of the 2021 MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of Literary Work. He currently teaches at Davidson College.

Image description: Jack Jung, a Korean man with short black hair, is leaning on the wall while standing on a staircase. He is wearing a blue cotton shirt over a dark red shirt. His arms are crossed. Behind him on the wall is a black-and-white graffiti portrait of a Korean poet Yi Sang.


Headshot of David McKay

David McKay lives in The Hague. The runner-up for the Vondel Prize 2022, he won that prize in 2018 for War and Turpentine, also nominated for the International Booker Prize. His recent publications include the anti-colonial classic We Slaves of Suriname. He was the ALTA Dutch-English mentor in 2021.

Image description: David, a white man in his late 40s with dark brown and gray hair and glasses, smiles into the camera, with bookshelves in the background.


Headshot of Mui Poopoksakul

Mui Poopoksakul is a lawyer-turned-translator with a special interest in contemporary Thai literature. She is the translator of Prabda Yoon’s The Sad Part Was and Moving Parts, as well as of Duanwad Pimwana’s Bright and Arid Dreams. Mui is currently translating two works of fiction by Saneh Sangsuk, both forthcoming in 2023.

Image description: In this black and white photo, Mui Poopoksakul has a big smile and is looking off to her left. Mui is an Asian woman with long black hair and is outside at night.


View our webpage for more information, our submissions portal to submit, and find answers to common questions at the mentorship FAQ. We are proud of our former mentees’ many accomplishments; follow this link to check them out!

These mentorships are offered by ALTA in partnership with Amazon Crossing, generous individual donors, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the Swedish Arts Council, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO-LA), and the Yanai Initiative at UCLA.

Submit here by 11:59pm PT on November 30, 2022!

A composite image of the logos of the 2023 ALTA mentorship sponsors
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