Prose and Poetry: National Translation Awards’ 20th Anniversary Longlists Announced

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The 20th National Translation Awards from the American Literary Translators Association announces its longlist, selecting works in part by comparing the English translation to its original.

Image – iStockphoto: Ildo Frazao

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Separate Poetry and Prose Lists
The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) on Monday (July 16) announced its multiple longlists for the National Translation Award cycle of 2018.

This set of awards, now in its 20th year, is conferred in both prose and poetry, and so we have two longlists here, the winner of each to receive a prize of $2,500.

This is the fourth year in which the prose and poetry contenders have been separated.

One of the key distinctions of this prize cycle—obviously made possible because of the organization’s strength in languages—is that one key criterion is fidelity to the original. As organizers put it, the judging process “includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work.”

Another attractive element of this competition is that it can include both contemporary and classical material. In these lists, for example, you’ll find recent works and the efforts of Homer and Stendhal.

Five-title shortlists in poetry and prose are to be announced in September, with final awards made at the organization’s annual conference, October 31 to November 3, this year in Bloomington, Indiana, at Indiana University’s Memorial Union.

National Translation Award 2018: Poetry Longlist

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (New Directions)

Directions for Use by Ana Ristović
Translated from the Serbian by Steven Teref and Maja Teref (Zephyr Press)

Hackers by Aase Berg
Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson (Black Ocean)

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Translated from the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas (Ugly Duckling Presse)

If I Were a Suicide Bomber by Per Aage Brandt
Translated from the Danish by Thom Satterlee (Open Letter Books)

Magnetic Point: Selected Poems by Ryszard Krynicki
Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh (New Directions)

My Lai by Carmen Berenguer
Translated from the Spanish by Liz Henry (Cardboard House Press)

The Odyssey by Homer
Translated from the Greek by Emily Wilson (W. W. Norton & Company)

Oxygen: Selected Poems by Julia Fiedorczuk
Translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston (Zephyr Press)

Sonic Peace by Kiriu Minashita
Translated from the Japanese by Spencer Thurlow and Eric Hyett (Phoneme Media)

Spiral Staircase: Collected Poems by Hirato Renkichi
Translated from the Japanese by Sho Sugita (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen
Translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Action Books)

National Translation Award 2018: Prose Longlist

Affections by Rodrigo Hasbún
Translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Simon & Schuster)

August by Romina Paula
Translated from the Spanish by Jennifer Croft (Feminist Press)

Compass by Mathias Énard
Translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell (New Directions)

Dandelions by Yasunari Kawabata
Translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich (New Directions)

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag
Translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur (Penguin Books)

The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo
Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong (Graywolf Press)

The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Translated from the Spanish by Will Vanderhyden (Open Letter Books)

Italian Chronicles by Stendhal
Translated from the French by Raymond N. MacKenzie (University of Minnesota Press)

Moving the Palace by Charif Majdalani
Translated from the French by Edward Gauvin (New Vessel Press)

Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig
Translated from the German by Isabel Fargo Cole (Two Lines Press)

Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg
Translated from the Polish by Eliza Marciniak (Transit Books)

The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai
Translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes, Ottilie Mulzet, and John Batki (New Directions


More from Publishing Perspectives on translation is here and on book prizes is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, at London's The Bookseller. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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