Anna Deeny Morales Receives Literature Translation Fellowship


[Washington, DC]—On August 29, 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Anna Deeny Morales will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. Anna Deeny Morales is one of 25 Literature Translation Fellows for fiscal year 2019. In total, the NEA is recommending $325,000 in grants this round to support the new translation of poetry and prose from 17 countries into English.

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) was a poet, educator, and humanist. In 1945, she became the first Latin American writer and the fifth woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Through her extraordinary poetry and hundreds of essays on topics such as women, children, pedagogy, poverty, literature, culture, and politics, Mistral became a world-renowned expert in the fields of education and human rights as well as a celebrated writer. However, only one volume of Mistral’s poetry has been translated in its entirety into the English language. Published in 1938, Tala  [Fells] is dedicated to the thousands of children displaced by the Spanish Civil War. Considered by many to be Mistral’s most significant literary achievement, Tala is the last major work she published before receiving the Nobel Prize.

Anna Deeny Morales has edited and translated collections of poetry by Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, including Purgatory, Dreams for Kurosawa, and Sky Below: Selected Works. She has as also translated works by Mercedes Roffé, Amanda Berenguer, and Alejandra Pizarnik. Her translations of poetry by Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, Malú Urriola, Idea Vilariño, and Marosa di Giorgio, among others, appear in anthologies and journals such as The Paris Review, BOMB, and Harvard Review. Deeny Morales’s plays and adaptations of opera have been performed in Italy, Spain, and the United States. She teaches at the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these 25 new projects, building on more than 35 years of funding literature translation,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “Translation not only provides American readers with access to many of the world’s most talented and respected writers, but through the skill and creativity of the authors and translators, readers can explore new and often unique perspectives and experiences.”

Since 1981, the NEA has awarded 480 fellowships to 425 literary translators, with translations representing 69 languages and 83 countries. The review criteria for these projects consist not only of the translators’ skill, but also the importance of a particular book to English-speaking audiences, including those authors and languages that are often underrepresented.

Click here for the full list of fiscal year 2019 Literature Translation Fellowships, along with information about the translators and their projects. (Please note these awards are pending Congressional approval of the NEA’s fiscal year 2019 budget.)

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit the NEA at