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Jessica Powell

Jessica Ernst Powell, Literary Translator

Jessica Powell received her BA in International Studies from Vassar College, her MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, and completed her Ph.D. in UCSB’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, specializing in literary translation and twentieth-century Latin American Literature. She has published dozens of translations of literary works by a wide variety of Latin American writers. She was the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship in support of her translation of Antonio Benítez Rojo's novel Woman in Battle Dress (City Lights, 2015), which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. Her translation of Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya (Mandel Vilar Press, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award and made the longlist for the 2017 National Translation Award. Her translation, the first-ever into English of Pablo Neruda’s book-length poem, venture of the infinite man, was published by City Lights Books in October of 2017.  Other translations include Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo’s Where There’s Love, There’s Hate (Melville House, 2013) and Silvina Ocampo’s The Promise (City Lights Books, 2019), both co-translated with Suzanne Jill Levine; Edna Iturralde’s Green Was my Forest, a 2019 Skipping Stones Honor Award recipient (Mandel Vilar, Press, 2018); and Gabriela Wiener’s Nine Moons (Restless Books, May 2020), a 2021 Firecracker Award finalist. Her translation of Sergio Missana's novel Las muertes paralelas, was published in November 2021 by McPherson & Company, under the English title The Transentients. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband Abe, her kids Olivia and Leo, and her dogs Hazel and Blue.


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