American Literary Translators Association Shortlists Titles in Poetry and Prose

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The 20th National Translation Awards program from the American Literary Translators Association announces its shortlists, selecting six works in poetry and six in prose—in part by comparing the English translation to its original.

Image – iStockphoto: Alex Kich

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

Final Awards Announced at ALTA’s Conference
The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) today (September 4) has announced its shortlists for the National Translation Award cycle of 2018.

As Publishing Perspectives reported on the release of the program’s longlists, the awards, now in their 20th year, are conferred in both prose and poetry. The winner in each of the two categories receives a prize of US$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.

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 Shortlist

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)

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

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

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

National Translation Award 2018: Prose Shortlist

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)

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)


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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