Middlebury Institute Translation and Interpretation student Michelle Mirabella has been nominated by World Literature Today for a Pushcart Prize for her translation of “Ferns,” a short story by Catalina Infante Beovic.
The Pushcart Prize anthology gathers the best poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and essays published by small-press magazines and book publishers. Each publication is allowed to nominate up to six pieces.
World Literature Today’s editors congratulated the nominated writers and translator, saying, “This is just a sampling of WLT’s extraordinary content from the past year—as always, choosing from more than a hundred contributors proved exceptionally difficult.” The magazine published Mirabella´s translation of “Ferns” in June of this year.
Infante Beovic is a Chilean writer, publisher, journalist, and teacher and co-author of three books of short stories on the indigenous peoples of Chile. She authored the picture book Dichos Redichos and the artist’s book Postal Nocturna, and in 2018 published her first book of stories, Todas somos una misma sombra. The short story “Ferns” was her English-language debut.
“Being the translator who first brought Catalina’s voice into English with ‘Ferns,’ and to now have that work be nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2020 by World Literature Today, is truly an honor,” says Mirabella.
Her other published translations include two short stories by Colombian author John Better Armella, “Birds,” which appeared in Latin American Literature Today, and “Kafka Knocks at the Door,” in Your Impossible Voice, as well as Mexican author Iliana Vargas’s “Seed,” which was published by Exchanges.
“I am thrilled to see Michelle among the nominees for the 2020 Pushcart Prize,” shares Spanish Translation and Interpretation Professor Carles Andreu who co-taught with Professor George Henson a course on literary translation Mirabella took last spring. “Watching her blossom in our translation class has been an absolute pleasure, and this recognition only proves that she is ready to go out into the translation world and do great things!”
“This is a tremendous honor,” adds Professor Henson. “World Literature Today is one of the most prestigious literary magazines in the world. That Michelle’s translation was nominated was significant. The fact that she’s still a student is speaks very highly of her work.” Andreu and Henson will offer literary translation again in the spring of 2021.
“My community has been such an important part of my achievements this year; a big thank you to Dr. George Henson, Carles Andreu, my interpretation professors, my cohort, and my family for supporting me along with way.”
In 2019, Translation and Interpretation student Samantha Vila won the student translation contest sponsored by the magazine. In an email to Mirabella, notifying her of her nomination, World Literature Today’s editor-in-chief Daniel Simon wrote, “Great things must be happening at Middlebury!”