Our jury

Program Advisors and Jurors

The 2022 Translation Prize Jury:


  • Esther Allen

    – Professor, City University of New York, and Co-Founder, PEN World Voices Festival

Professor in the Ph.D. Programs in French and in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at City University of New York Graduate Center and at Baruch College (CUNY), Esther Allen co-founded the PEN World Voices Festival in 2005, and guided the work of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund from its inception in 2003 to 2010. She is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships (1995 and 2010), and in 2006, the French government named her a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Her translation of Zama, by Antonio Di Benedetto, won the American Literary Translators Association’s 2017 National Translation Award. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.


  • yasser elhariry

-Associate Professor, Dartmouth College

yasser elhariry is Associate Professor of French at Dartmouth College, where he also teaches courses in Comparative Literature, Middle Eastern Studies, and Creative Writing. A specialist of modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, he is the author of Pacifist Invasions: Arabic, Translation & the Postfrancophone Lyric (2017). He is the coeditor of Critically Mediterranean: Temporalities, Æsthetics & Deployments of a Sea in Crisis (2018), The Postlingual Turn (2021), Khatibi, Now (2022), and editor of Cultures du mysticisme (2017) and Sounds Senses (2021). His writing appears in PMLA, SubStance, New Literary History, Yale French Studies, French Forum, Contemporary French & Francophone Studies, Contemporary French Civilization, Francosphères, Parade sauvage, Expressions maghrébines, Hyperion, Jacket2, and several edited volumes.


  • Tess Lewis

    – Essayist and Translator

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Christine Angot, Philippe Jaccottet, Peter Handke, and Walter Benjamin. Her recent awards include the 2017 PEN Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review.


  • James B. Swenson

    – Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Rutgers University

James Swenson is currently Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Rutgers University (New Brunswick), where he has also served as Chair of French and Dean of Humanities. He is the author of On Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution, the translator of five books of contemporary French political philosophy, and the editor of a new critical edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Affaires de Corse. He is currently preparing the first complete transcription of the Favre Manuscripts, the earliest surviving drafts of Rousseau’s Emile.


  • Alyson Waters

    – Full-time Literary Translator

After three decades of teaching and editing a scholarly journal, Alyson Waters is at long last a full-time literary translator. Until early 2022, she taught literary translation at Yale University and was the managing editor of Yale French Studies. She has translated the work of Vassilis Alexakis, Daniel Arasse, Albert Cossery, Louis Aragon, Emmanuel Bove, and Daniel Pennac, among several others. Her translation of Eric Chevillard’s Prehistoric Times won the 2013 French-American Foundation Translation Prize. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund grant, and several residency grants in France and Canada. Her translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s No Room at the Morgue was published in 2020 by New York Review Books, which also published her translation of Jean Giono’s A King Alone, for which she was awarded the 2020 Translation Prize. She is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and lives in Brooklyn, New York.