Fellowships & Grants


ASF Awards Translation Prizes to Randi Ward and Hunter Simpson & Honorable Mentions to Mia Spangenberg and Sarah Thegeby

The 2021 Nadia Christensen Prize was awarded to Randi Ward (Vienna, WV) for her translation excerpt from Faroese of Kim Simonsen’s 2013 poetry collection Hvat hjálpir einum menniskja at vakna ein morgun hesumegin hetta áratúsundið (What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium). The jury noted that “In Ward’s hands, these diaristic snapshots-in-verse, filled with visceral, yet spare natural imagery, beg to be read aloud. Vivid in its word choice and gorgeous in its simplicity, her translation strikes a moving balance between musicality and austerity, decay and fecundity.” Ms. Ward has an MA in Cultural Studies from Fróðskaparsetur Føroya and a BA in Anthropology from Ohio University. She is currently working as a translator of Nordic literature and is a guest editor for Norsk Forfatternes Klimaaksjon’s website.

The 2021 Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize was awarded to Hunter Simpson (Copenhagen, Denmark) for his translation excerpt from Danish of Stine Pilgaard’s Meter i sekundet (The Land of Short Sentences). The jury commended Mr. Simpson’s translation as “playful, funny, and colorful without being showy, rendering the world of a Folk High School in West Jutland with warmth and precision and the voice of the novel’s witty fish-out-of-water narrator with panache.” Mr. Simpson has a BA in English Literature form the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he is the English translator of Stine Pilgaard’s novel Meter i Sekundet, which is forthcoming from World Editions in March 2022.

Due to an unusually strong group of entries submitted during the 2021 Translation Prize Competition, the Jury awarded two Honorable Mention Certificates.

Mia Spangenberg (Seattle, WA) was awarded an honorable mention for the Nadia Christensen Prize for her translation excerpt from Finnish of Pirkko Saisio’s Punainen erokirja (The Red Book of Farewells). The Jury applauded Spangenberg’s “tactile, bold translation [as] equally confident in fragmented moments of poetic lyricism and stark reality, guiding the reader from the austere kitchens of 1970s Helsinki to its lush and hidden queer spaces.” Ms. Spangenberg has a PhD in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington and is currently a freelance Finnish to English translator.

Sarah Thegeby (Maywood, NJ) was awarded an honorable mention for the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize for her translation excerpt from Swedish of Sara Stridsberg’s short stories “American Hotel” and “Lone Star State.” The Jury admired Thegeby’s application of “sharp, textured language and naturalistic dialog [which] paints an atmospheric, uncanny portrait of America on the brink.” Ms. Thegeby received her MA in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London and Shakespeare’s Globe in 2013 and her MA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. She currently works as a Senior Publicist at Dutton, Penguin Random House.