October 15, 2020—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize! This prize, which was inaugurated in 2009, recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. This year’s judges are Noh Anothai, John Balcom, and E. J. Koh.
This year’s winner was awarded at the ALTA’s 43rd annual conference, In Between, the first ALTA conference to be held virtually. The ceremony included a focus on the 2020 shortlist, presented by judge Noh Anothai, and the winners were featured in conversation with judge E. J. Koh. The announcement was made on October 15, 2020 on the ALTA virtual conference platform Crowdcast, and is viewable there through 2020, and will be viewable after that at the ALTA YouTube channel. The winners will be awarded a $6,000 prize.
Winner: 2020 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize
by Kim Yideum
translated from Korean by Jake Levine, Soeun Seo, and Hedgie Choi
Kim Yideum’s Hysteria, translated by Jake Levine, Soeun Seo, and Hedgie Choi, resists established Korean literary culture in the tradition of Korean feminist poetics. Page by page, Yideum’s poems against rationality, lyricism, and polite society reckon with both political and personal revolutions. Accordingly, the rendering of her poems across languages is multifold as Yideum’s words must be as intentionally irrational as historical oppression. These taut, unsettled poems burst into flames in the hands of the reader, a burning fuse creating a clear path for contemporary Korean women’s poetry.
Jake Levine is an American translator, poet, and scholar. He works as an assistant professor of creative writing at Keimyung University and as a lecturer at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. He edits the Korean poetry series Moon Country at Black Ocean. Previously he served as the editor-in-chief of Sonora Review, as the poetry editor of Spork Press, and as an assistant editor at Acta Koreana. His co-translation with Soeun Seo of Kim Minjeong’s Beautiful and Useless (Black Ocean) and a book he edited and co-translated, The Poems of Hwang Yuwon, Ha Jaeyoun, and Seo Dae-kyung (Vagabond Press) will both be out this fall. You can find him at http://jakelevine.org
Soeun Seo is a poet and translator from South Korea and a current fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. They co-translated Kim Yideum’s Hysteria (Action Books, 2019) and is currently co-translating Kim Min Jeong’s Beautiful and Useless which will be coming out in October 2020 with Black Ocean.
Hedgie Choi is a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas.
The 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize submissions portal will be opened in January 2021.