Announcing the 2021 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose Longlists

Announcing the 2021 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose Longlists

September 2, 2021—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the longlists for the 2021 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose! 2021 marks the twenty-third year for the NTA, and the seventh year to award separate prizes in poetry and prose. The NTA, which is administered by ALTA, is the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work.

Featuring authors writing in 13 different languages, this year’s longlists expand the prize’s dedication to literary diversity in English. The selection criteria include the quality of the finished English language book, and the quality of the translation. 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.) The shortlists will be announced at the end of September. In the meantime, ALTA will highlight each book on the longlists with citations written by the judges here on the ALTA blog, starting in mid-September.

The 2021 National Translation Award in Prose Longlist (in alphabetical order by title):

Amora: Stories
By Natalia Borges Polesso
Translated from Portuguese by Julia Sanches
(Amazon Crossing)

Breasts and Eggs
By Mieko Kawakami
Translated from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd
(Europa Editions)

Difficult Light
By Tomás González
Translated from Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg
(Archipelago Books)

By Fabienne Kanor
Translated from French by Lynn E. Palermo
(University of Virginia Press)

I Live in the Slums
By Can Xue
Translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping
(Yale University Press)

By al-Ḥarīrī
Translated from Arabic by Michael Cooperson
(Library of Arabic Literature/NYU Press)

The King of Warsaw
By Szczepan Twardoch
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
(Amazon Crossing)

No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories
By Jayant Kaikini
Translated from Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana

The Other Name: Septology I-II
By Jon Fosse
Translated from Norwegian by Damion Searls
(Transit Books)

By Taslima Nasreen
Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha
(HarperCollins India)

Stories for the Years
By Luigi Pirandello
Translated from Italian by Virginia Jewiss
(Yale University Press)

Stories of the Sahara
By Sanmao
Translated from Chinese by Mike Fu
(Bloomsbury Publishing)

The 2021 National Translation Award in Poetry Longlist (in alphabetical order by title):

Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana’s Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers: A Bilingual Edition
By various authors
Translated from French by Clint Bruce
(The Historic New Orleans Collection)

By Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine
Translated from French by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak

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

By an unknown author
Translated from Old English by Maria Dahvana Headley
(MCD x FSG Originals)

Dead Letter Office: Selected Poems
By Marko Pogačar
Translated from Croatian by Andrea Jurjević
(The Word Works)

I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other
By Ulrike Almut Sandig
Translated from German by Karen Leeder
(Seagull Books)

My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems
By Yi Lei
Translated from Chinese by Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi
(Graywolf Press)

The Olive Trees’ Jazz and Other Poems
By Samira Negrouche
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
(Pleiades Press)

Phone Bells Keep Ringing for Me
By Choi Seungja
Translated from Korean by Won-Chung Kim and Cathy Park Hong
(Action Books)

Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry
By various authors
Translated from Arabic, French, and Tamazight by Deborah Kapchan with Driss Marjane
(Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UT Austin)

The Selected Poems of Tu Fu
By Tu Fu
Translated from Chinese by David Hinton
(New Directions)

Unexpected Vanilla
By Lee Hyemi
Translated from Korean by Soje
(Tilted Axis Press)

Congratulations to all of the translators, authors, publishers, and editors recognized here!