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    Here are the shortlists for the 2023 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose.

    Literary Hub

    October 11, 2023, 10:00am

    Today, the American Literary Translators Association announced the shortlists for the the 25th annual National Translation Awards. The NTAs are awarded, in both poetry and 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 first National Translation Award was conferred 25 years ago at the ALTA conference held in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1998, and in the quarter century since then, 38 literary translators have been honored for their translations from 18 different languages,” said ALTA’s current President, Ellen Elias-Bursać, in a press release. “Since 2015, two NTAs have been awarded each year—one for prose and one for poetry. Since the award first began, more than 100 jury members have given their time to this extraordinary project. Every winter and spring they spend five months poring over the previous year’s production, and over the summer they turn to expert readers for a language-based assessment of each longlisted work. The result is the shortlist you see before you today, to be followed by the award ceremony, the high point of the autumn ALTA conference, when the literary translation community celebrates the year’s winners. So hat’s off to this year’s longlist, shortlist and winners, and to the many remarkable translations the NTAs will spotlight over the decades to come.”

    This year’s prose judges are Natascha Bruce, Shelley Frisch, Jason Grunebaum, Sawad Hussain, and Lytton Smith. This year’s judges for poetry are Pauline Fan, Heather Green, and Shook. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on November 11th, and be awarded $4,000 each.

    Here’s the shortlist:


    Thuân, Chinatown
    translated from Vietnamese by Nguyễn An Lý
    (New Directions/Tilted Axis)

    Mikołaj Grynberg, I’d Like to Say Sorry, but There’s No One to Say Sorry To
    translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
    (The New Press)

    Monique Ilboudo, So Distant From My Life
    translated from French by Yarri Kamara
    (Tilted Axis)

    László Krasznahorkai, Spadework for a Palace
    translated from Hungarian by John Batki
    (New Directions)

    B. Jeyamohan, Stories of the True
    translated from Tamil by Priyamvada Ramkumar

    Sheela Tomy, Valli: A Novel
    translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil
    (HarperCollins India)


    Phoebe Giannisi, Cicada
    translated from Greek by Brian Sneeden
    (New Directions)

    Nelly Sachs, Flight and Metamorphosis
    translated from German by Joshua Weiner with Linda B. Parshall
    (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    37 Tang poets, In the Same Light: 200 Poems for Our Century From the Migrants & Exiles of the Tang Dynasty
    translated from Chinese by Wong May
    (The Song Cave | Caranet)

    Iman Mersal, The Threshold
    translated from Arabic by Robyn Creswell
    (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    Venus Khoury-Ghata, The Water People
    translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
    (The Poetry Translation Centre)

    Ananda Devi, When the Night Agrees to Speak to Me
    translated from French by Kazim Ali
    (Deep Vellum/Phoneme | HarperCollins India)

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