At its annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC, the Modern Language Association of America presented its MLA-Roth Award for Translation of a Literary Work. In addition to the award to Clint Bruce, the MLA conferred an honorable mention to Margaret Jull Costa and Patricio Ferrari for their translation of Fernando Pessoa’s The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro, published by New Directions.
In its citation conferring Honorable Mention the Committee noted:
Margaret Jull Costa and Patricio Ferrari’s translation of the works of Alberto Caeiro . . . will give readers who already admire Fernando Pessoa thought-provoking new ways of understanding his project. This brief bilingual volume is also an engaging, concise introduction to Pessoa’s complex and ever-shifting universe. . . . The translators succeed in conveying the lucid, direct, but often disconcerting style of Caeiro’s poetry in quietly resonant English. . . .
Described as the greatest translator of Portuguese literature into English Margaret Jull Costa is particularly known for her refined translations of Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, António Lobo Antunes, and others. A prodigious translator of Portuguese and Spanish fiction and poetry, she has received countless awards, including the Order of the British Empire, Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique from the Portuguese government, and a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Translation from the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute. Jull Costa holds a BA in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Bristol, and an MA from Stanford University through a Fulbright fellowship.
Argentinian-born Patricio Ferrari has translated poetry from French, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Hindi. He edited two journals on Fernando Pessoa’s English writings and published eight editions of Pessoa’s works, including the first critical edition of his Poèmes français and Teatro Estatico. Ferrari teaches at Rutgers University, while serving as Managing Director of San Patricio Language Institute in Merlo, Argentina and pursuing a collaboration with the Endangered Language Alliance. He holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne-Nouvelle, and MFA in Poetry from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Lisbon.