Kelsi Vanada

Poet, Translator

Tucson, AZ
Arizona US

Author's Bio

Kelsi holds an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa. She writes poems and translates from Spanish and collaboratively from Swedish. Since July 2018, she has worked as the Program Director of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

Publications & Prizes


Rare Earth (Finishing Line Press, 2020)


United Left by Álvaro Lasso, translated from the Spanish (Eulalia Books, 2024)
The Visible Unseen by Andrea Chapela, translated from the Spanish (Restless Books, 2022)
Damascus, Atlantis by Marie Silkeberg, translated from the Swedish (Terra Nova Press, 2021)
Into Muteness by Sergio Espinosa, translated from the Spanish (Veliz Books, 2020)
The Eligible Age by Berta Garcia Faet, translated from the Spanish (Song Bridge Press, 2018)
Prizes won: 
  • 2024 NEA Translation Fellowship (the National Endownment for the Arts)
  • 2024 Sundial Literary Translation Award
  • Commendation in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation, 2023
  • Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts writing residency recipient, Nov-Dec 2022
  • Longlisted for the 2022 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for Damascus, Atlantis
  • Translator for Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists, 2021
  • Longlisted for the 2021 John Dryden Translation Competition, September 2021
  • Peter Taylor Fellow, Kenyon Review Summer 2020 Translation Workshop
  • Jules Chametzky Translation Prize Winner, Massachusetts Review, January 2020
  • Shortlisted for the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute’s 2020 Poetry Translation Award for The Eligible Age, October 2019
  • Honorable Mention 2018, Gulf Coast Prize in Translation 
  • Winner, 2018 American-Scandinavian Foundation Nadia Christensen Prize in Translation

  • Shortlisted, Disquiet International Literary Prize 2018

  • Fulbright Study/Research Awards semifinalist, January 2017 (Translation, Sweden)

  • ALTA Travel Fellow, 2016

  • Plughaupt Fellowship recipient, 2016-2017 (grant for a new Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate)

  • 2016 Asymptote Close Approximations contest winner

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
English, Spanish
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jan 30, 2024