Translation Prize

  • Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Second Translation Prize


    With the aim of elevating awareness and appreciation of Spanish literature in the United States, this $10,000 prize was created by the Cultural Committee and Board of Directors of Queen Sofia Spanish Institute to honor the best English-language translation of a work of fiction written in Castilian by a Spanish author and published by an American imprint.

    The inaugural award, celebrated in 2010, for the best translation published between 2006 and 2008, was given to Dr. Edith Grossman for her 2008 translation of Antonio Munoz Molina’s A Manuscript of Ashes. The photo above is the distinguished translator, Dr. Edith Grossman.

    Second Translation Prize

    In order to continue to promote the understanding of the Spanish culture in the United States, the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute seeks to reward the scholarly career of translation. This prize honors the translator and the prize goes directly to that person.

    We are honored to include a group of highly qualified academics and intellectuals as judges. The three members of this Committee each specialize in various periods of Spanish literature. Currently, all of the Reading Committee teach at prestigious American Universities and are translators themselves.

    This Second Translation Prize continues the original objective of identifying the best English-language translation of a work of fiction written in Castilian by a Spanish author and published by an American publisher between 2010 – 2017.



    CHAIRMAN: Christopher Maurer

    Christopher Maurer writes about early modern and modern Spanish poetry. His research revolves around biography, textual criticism, translation, and poetry’s relations with music and painting. At Boston University, he has taught the Literary Translation Seminar. His first book was a biography and edition of the bilingual (Italian/Spanish) sixteenth-century poet Francisco de Figueroa and his most recent, with Andrew A. Anderson, Federico Garcia Lorca en Nueva York y La Habana: Cartas y recuerdos.  He is the editor of García Lorca’s Collected Poems and Selected Verse;his lectures (Conferencias); his early prose (Prosa inédita de juventud),and editor, with Andrew A. Anderson, of García Lorca’s complete letters (Epistolario completo).His translated books include Lorca’s Deep Song and Other Prose,In Search of Duende, and A Season in Granada, a collection of letters between Lorca and Salvador Dalí (Sebastian’s Arrowspublished by Swan Isle Press),  The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián, an anthology of Gracián’s other writings (A Pocket Mirror for Heroes) and works by Juan Ramón Jiménez (The Complete Perfectionist: A Poetics of Work).  His biography of American painter and writer Walter Inglis Anderson won the 2003 Eudora Welty Award and the Non Fiction Prize of the Mississippi Academy of Arts and Letters. With Andrés Soria he curated the exhibition “Back Tomorrow: Lorca, Poet in New York” at the New York Public Library. Maurer is a Miembro Correspondiente of the Real Academia Española.

    Seth Kimmel

    Seth Kimmel studies the literatures and cultures of medieval and early modern Iberia. He earned his B.A. in Comparative Literature and Religion at Columbia University and his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. Before joining Columbia’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures in 2012, Seth spent two years as a member of Stanford University’s Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities.

    Seth’s first book, Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain (University of Chicago Press, 2015), is an intellectual history of New Christian assimilation in the sixteenth century. The book argues that canon law, philology, history writing, and other disciplines were all transformed by hotly contested debates over eradicating Islam and Judaism from the Iberian Peninsula and converting non-Christians elsewhere in the Spanish empire. The American Comparative Literature Association awarded Parables of Coercion the 2017 Harry Levin Prize for best first book published in the field of Comparative Literature. In addition to what we might call “multiconfessional Iberia,” other research and teaching interests include Mediterranean and transatlantic studies, literary theory, history of the book, and the history of science.

    Susan Byrne

    Susan Byrne is Professor of Hispanic Studies and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to joining UNLV in July 2016, she held appointments at Yale University (2008-2016), the State University of New York at Oneonta (2006-2008), and Fordham University (2004-2006). Byrne is the author of three books: Ficino in Spain (University of Toronto Press, 2015), Law and History in Cervantes‘ Don Quixote (University of Toronto Press, 2012), and El Corpus Hermeticum y tres poetas españoles (Juan de la Cuesta, 2007), as well as a number of articles in refereed journals, invited volumes, and conference proceedings. Her research interests include the history of ideas as expressed in, and altered by, creative letters; Italo-Hispanic exchanges in the Early Modern period; law and literature; philosophy in, and of, literature. She has taught courses on Italo-Hispanic Neoplatonism, the Picaresque Novel, Don Quijote, Cervantes’ Novelas ejemplares, the Comedia, the Romancero, early modern Spanish poetry, the development of the novel as a genre in early modern Spain, general survey courses in Spanish and Spanish American literature, and all levels of Spanish language, grammar, composition, and culture.

    Byrne maintains a very active profile in national and international associations. She is the Renaissance Society of America’s Discipline Representative for Hispanic Literature (2015-2017), a Vocal on the Junta Directiva of the Asociación Internacional Siglo de Oro (2014-2017; 2017-2020), and a Vocal on the Junta Directiva of the Asociación Internacional de Hispanists (2016-2019). Byrne received her B.A. from Hunter College in 1996. Her M.Phil. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) were awarded by the Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

    Eduardo Lago

    Eduardo Lago’s first novel, Llámame Brooklyn won the prestigious Nadal Prize in 2006, as well as the National Critics Award, the City of Barcelona and the Lara Foundation´s Critics Award, all in 2007, and has been translated into fifteen languages. Other works of literature include Cuaderno de México (2000), Map Thief (2008), and I Always Knew I would see you again, Aurora Lee (2013). In 2002 his comparative analysis of the Spanish versions of James Joyce´s Ulysses, was awarded the Bartolomé March Prize for Excellence in Literary Criticism. He has translated works by Sylvia Plath, Henry James, John Barth, Hamlin Garland, Charles Brocken-Brown, William Dean Howells, and Junot Díaz, as well as the Anna Livia Plurabelle section of Joyce´s Finnegans Wake. A frequent contributor for El País, Spain´s newspaper of record, he is well known for his in-depth interviews with the most important North American Fiction Writers. In 2012 he held a Chair of Excellence in the Universidad Carlos III (Madrid). A resident of New York for the last 30 years, he served as Executive Director of the city´s Cervantes Institute between 2006 and 2011. He is a tenured member of the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, he is working on an edition of essays on North American literature, while completing the manuscript of his last novel, La estela de Selkirk.


Cover photo of a novel, A Manuscript of Ashes,
written by Antonio Munoz Molina.
Translated by Edith Gross, winner of the 2010 Translation Prize.
Photo by Robert Polidori