Winners of the Second Annual World Literature Today Translation Prize Announced

May 22, 2019
The winning translators and translated authors in a tiled image
From left, prose winner Samantha Vila, writer Gunter Silva, poetry winner Brian Sneeden, & poet Phoebe Giannisi

We are proud to announce Samantha Vila and Brian Sneeden as the recipients of its second annual translation award for students. Consistent with its commitment to publishing literature in translation, the World Literature Today Translation Prize recognizes the talent and promise of students worldwide.

The three editors at World Literature Today judged the competition: Daniel Simon, assistant director and editor in chief; Michelle Johnson, managing editor and culture editor; and Rob Vollmar, book review editor and online editor. They selected a winner in each of two categories, prose and poetry. Each prizewinner will receive a $200 cash award, and their winning translations will be published on the WLT website in June 2019.

Robert Con Davis-Undiano, World Literature Today’s executive director, applauded the skill of the winning entries, noting that “it’s no surprise that these translators are emerging from some of the finest translation programs in the world. As a pioneer in the field of literature in translation and translation studies,” he added, “World Literature Today takes pride in fostering great talent emerging from the international world of translation studies.”

Recipients of the 2019 World Literature Today Translation Prize are:

Prose: Samantha Vila won the prose category for her translation from the Spanish of Peruvian author Gunter Silva’s short story “Herford.” Vila, a second-year student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, was sponsored by Dr. George Henson, an assistant professor of Spanish translation at Middlebury.

Poetry: Translating poet Phoebe Giannisi from the Modern Greek, Brian Sneeden won the poetry category. Sneeden is a PhD candidate in translation studies at the University of Connecticut, and he was sponsored by Dr. Peter Constantine, director of the university’s Program in Literary Translation. Anne Carson selected Sneeden’s translation of Giannisi’s collection Homerica as a favorite book of 2017, and his translations of Giannisi’s work recently received a 2018 PEN/Heim grant.