Meet the 2021 ALTA Travel Fellowships Judges!

Meet the 2021 ALTA Travel Fellowships Judges!

L to R: Mui Poopoksakul; Lawrence Schimel; Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler

Normally there are 4-6 $1,000 fellowships to bring emerging (unpublished or minimally-published) translators to the ALTA conference. With the shift to a hybrid conference this year in light of the pandemic, there will instead be a number of $500 fellowships to celebrate this year’s Virtual Travel Fellows at ALTA44. ALTA will celebrate this year’s Virtual Travel Fellows with a virtual reading at the conference. More information is forthcoming.

We’re getting the word out about updates to our conference as quickly as we are able to. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions by emailing Communications and Awards Manager Rachael Daum at

Each year, between four and six $1,000 Travel Fellowships are awarded to emerging (unpublished or minimally published) translators to help them pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference. Included in these Fellowships is the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship, which is preferentially awarded to an emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented diaspora or stateless language. 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. Applications are open this year until April 19 at 11:59pm PT.

This year, we are delighted to spotlight Mui Poopoksakul, Lawrence Schimel, and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler as our Travel Fellowship judges! Learn more about them below:

Mui Poopoksakul is a lawyer-turned-translator with a special interest in contemporary Thai literature. Her translations include three story collections: The Sad Part Was and Moving Parts, both by Prabda Yoon, and Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana. She is also the translator of the novel Bright by Pimwana. A native of Bangkok who spent two decades in the U.S., she now lives in Berlin, Germany.

Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual (Spanish/English) author & literary translator. Recent translations include: (into English) I Offer My Heart as a Target by Johanny Vázquez Paz (Akashic, winner of the Paz Prize) and Hatchet by Carmen Boullosa (White Pine, winner of the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation); into Spanish They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Top Shelf) and The Art of Cruelty and Bluets by Maggie Nelson (Tres Puntos). Honors for his translations include a PEN Translates Award from English PEN, a Highly Commended Award in the UK’s CLiPPA for children’s poetry, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, an Eisner Award finalist, and others.

Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler is a poet and translator best known for his work with co-translator Reilly Costigan-Humes on novels by great contemporary Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan, including Voroshilovgrad, published by Deep Vellum, as well as Mesopotamia and The Orphanage, from Yale University Press. Wheeler’s poetry and translations have been published in numerous journals, including Apofenie, Little Star, the Missing Slate, and Trafika Europe.