The University of Iowa

IWP and Workshop Alumnae Named as Finalists in the 2020 National Book Awards

October 7, 2020

The International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa congratulates its alumnae Anja KAMPMANN and Pilar QUINTANA, alongside their translators Anne POSTEN and Lisa DILLMAN, for placing as two of the five finalists in the National Book Award for Translated Literature category of the 2020 National Book Award competition of the National Book Foundation.

Anja KAMPMANN, who was a Max Kade Fellow in the 2010 IWP Fall Residency, is a poet and critic based in Leipzig, Germany. High as the Waters Rise, Anne Posten’s translation from the German of Kampmann’s widely-awarded debut novel Wie hoch die Wasser steigen, was published this year by Catapult, and is a National Book Award Finalists for Translated Literature.

The Colombian novelist Pilar QUINTANA, whose participation in the 2011 IWP Fall Residency was funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is the author of three previous novels. The Spanish-language original, La Perra (2017) won her several national awards in Colombia; Lisa Dillman’s translation, The Bitch, was published by World Editions in 2020 and is a National Book Award Finalists for Translated Literature. Since 2019, Quintana has collaborated with the IWP as a mentor in the IWP’s Women’s Creative Mentorship project, which seeks to support and promote young female writers in Latin America and Africa.

Both novelists and their translators will participate in a panel conversation at the online Iowa City Book Festival on October 10, 2020, which can be enjoyed online for free worldwide.

In the nonfiction category, 1995 Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Jerald Walker is a finalist for How to Make a Slave and Other Essays, to be published in November by The Ohio State University Press. The collection contains the author’s reflections on his experiences in academia, accounts of discussing race with his children, and contemplations on disability and family. Walker, who also earned a BA and a PhD from Iowa, has written two other books and teaches creative writing at Emerson College. He has been a visiting faculty member in the UI Nonfiction Writing Program.

Since 1967, the International Writing Program(IWP) at The University of Iowa has hosted more than 1,500 writers from more than 150 countries, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, publishing books and journals, pursuing cultural diplomacy, and organizing tours, conferences, and other literary and intercultural events around the world. Major support for IWP programming is provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and The University of Iowa.