Comparative Literature alumni in PEN America's 2023 Literary Awards

Comparative Literature alumni Julia Leverone (2016) and Baba Badji (2021) judges for the 2023 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Alumna Annelise Wasmoen (2021) serves the PEN American Translation Committee as Co-Chair.

The 2023 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony returns to New York’s Town Hall to celebrate exceptional voices in literature, from first time authors to living legends. This year, PEN America will present 11 book awards recognizing the finest fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essay, science writing, translation, and more published in 2022.

Baba Badji is a poet and translator; he earned his MFA in poetry and translation at Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University in St. Louis. His recently published poetry collection, Ghost Letters was longlisted for the National Book Award. Badji’s research and writing center on the links between the various forms of postcolonial studies, theory, and practice; slavery afterlives; decoloniality with a particular focus on debates about postcolonial translation theory and négritude in Anglophone and Francophone cultures.

Julia Leverone is the translator of the book Of Selected Poems of Francisco Urondo, Fuel and Fire, published with a grant from the government of Argentina. She also has two chapbooks of poetry: Shouldering and Little Escape, which won the JMWW Claudia Emerson Poetry Chapbook Award. Her translations have appeared in Gulf Coast, Witness, Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Poetry Daily. Julia is the founder and editor of the online magazine of poetry in translation AzonaL. She is a native of Massachusetts and teaches Spanish at the university level.

Annelise Wasmoen is the award-winning translator of Can Xue's The Last Lover, and Love in the New Millenium. She is Academic Director and Clinical Assistant Professor of the MS in Translation and oversees the Translation and Interpreting open enrolment programme at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at NYU. Her translations from Chinese into English have received the Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent and was longlisted for the National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association. She has served as the PEN American Translation Committee Co-Chair.