The American Literary Translators Association awards five major prizes at the annual conference: the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose, for an exceptional book of translated literature published within the previous year; the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, for an outstanding work of Asian literature published within the previous year; the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA), for an exceptional work of Italian prose in English translation; and the Cliff Becker Book Prize, for an unpublished book-length manuscript of poetry in translation. We also offer the ALTA Travel Fellowships for emerging translators to attend the annual conference, including the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship.
The National Translation Award is awarded annually in poetry and in prose to literary translators who have made an outstanding contribution to literature in English by masterfully recreating the artistic force of a book of consummate quality. The NTA is the oldest award for a work of literary translation in English, and the only one to include a rigorous examination of the source text alongside the translation. 2015 was the first year in which the NTA was awarded separately in poetry and prose. Recent winners include such distinguished translators as Richard Wilbur (2008), Norman Shapiro (2009), Alex Zucker (2010), Lisa Rose Bradford (2011), Sinan Antoon (2012), Phillip Boehm (2013), Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich (2014), Pierre Joris (2015), William Hutchins (2015), Hilary Kaplan (2016), Elizabeth Harris (2016), Daniel Borzutzky (2017), and Esther Allen (2017).
Lucien Stryk (1924-2013) was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University. Stryk wrote, edited, and translated over two dozen volumes during his life. The $5,000 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, which was inaugurated in 2009, recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English.
The Italian Prose in Translation Award recognizes the importance of contemporary Italian prose (fiction and literary non-fiction) and promotes the translation of Italian works into English. This $5,000 prize was inaugurated in 2015 and is awarded annually to a translator of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction).
Each year, between four and six $1,000 fellowships are awarded to emerging (unpublished or minimally published) translators to help them pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference. At the conference, ALTA Fellows are invited to read their translated work at a keynote event, giving them an opportunity to present their translations to an audience of translators, authors, editors, and publishers from around the world.