Between Words:
Juan Gelman’s Public Letter

Coimbra Editions

NTA Winner 2011
National Translation Award

The 2011 National Translation Award winner is Lisa Rose Bradford for her translation of Between Words: Juan Gelman’s Public Letter.

Lisa Rose Bradford teaches Comparative Literature at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata in Argentina. She has edited two compendiums on translation and cultural studies and two U.S. poetry anthologies in Spanish. Three volumes of her translations of Juan Gelman have been published to date. In addition, Bradford’s poems and translations have appeared in various magazine and journals.

Between Words: Juan Gelman’s Public Letter consists of a series of poetic elegies addressed by the Argentinian poet-in-exile to his son, Marcelo, who disappeared in 1976 in Argentina’s “dirty war.” First published in Spain in 1980, Gelman’s work was warmly and enthusiastically embraced throughout the Spanish-speaking world, garnering the author numerous prizes, including the prestigious Premio Cervantes. Public Letter, in the words of Bradford, represents an attempt “to come to terms with sorrow and exile by showing how poetry can heroically rise up against death with incessant and poignant beauty.”

Upon hearing that she had won, Bradford said, “This is more than just an honor; it is solid encouragement for the translator’s creative work. The conversion of Gelman’s rhythmic lines, intertextualities, unorthodox grammar, and wordplay into English requires a great deal of challenging inventiveness.”

Lisa Rose Bradford