Announcing the Winner of the 2022 National Translation Award (NTA) in Poetry: PURGATORIO

Announcing the Winner of the 2022 National Translation Award (NTA) in Poetry: PURGATORIO

October 6, 2022—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 National Translation Award (NTA) in Poetry! 2022 marks the twenty-fourth year for the NTA, and the eighth 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. This year’s judges for poetry are Hélène Cardona, Boris Dralyuk, and Archana Venkatesan.

This year’s winner was awarded at the Awards Ceremony held during ALTA’s 45th annual programming, ALTA45:  Value(s). The ceremony included a focus on the 2022 shortlist, and the winner was featured in conversation with judge Boris Dralyuk, followed by a short reading by the translator from the winning text. The announcement was made on October 6, 2022 on ALTA’s Eventbrite page; a recording of the ceremony will be viewable there. The winner will be awarded a $2,500 prize.

Winner: 2022 National Translation Award in Poetry

Book cover of PURGATORIO

By Dante Alighieri
Translated from Italian by D. M. Black
NYRB Classics

This is what the judges had to say about the winner:

There is nothing middle-of-the-road about D. M. Black’s version of the middle book of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The translator’s every step is sure, evincing not only his sensitive ear for the cadences of blank verse but also his profound insight into the psychology of the poet as well as of his shades. Black shows great respect for Dante as both a craftsman and a thinker, and in so doing serves the reader as a uniquely competent guide to “that Mountain where the blade of Reason probes us.”

About the winner

Headshot for D. M. Black

David Macleod Black is a Scottish poet, essayist and psychoanalyst.   He has published eight collections of poetry, most recently Claiming Kindred (2011) and The Arrow Maker ((2017).  He edited Psychoanalysis and Religion in the 21st Century: competitors or collaborators? (2006) and is author of Why Things Matter: the place of values in science, psychoanalysis and religion (2011).  His translation and commentary on Dante’s Purgatorio appeared in 2021.  He is a Fellow and former Hon Secretary of the British Psychoanalytic Society.  He lives in London.

[Image description: D.M. Black, a Scottish poet, essayist and psychoanalyst, is looking at the camera with the sun slightly in his eyes.  He is in his garden in South London but is wearing the somewhat formal gear of his main profession.]

The 2023 National Translation Award in Poetry submissions portal will be opened in January 2023.