Priscilla Hunter, MA and PhD in Spanish from Louisiana State University with simultaneously earned graduate credits in French and Portuguese, and now Professor Emerita of Spanish at Southern Oregon University, is a poet, literary translator, and literary translation workshop designer and leader. She has had significant experience working, conducting research, studying, and living abroad in several Central and South American countries and Spain. She interprets and translates principally to and from English and Spanish and her current translation focus is Latin American literature. Her publications include her poems and translations of poems, stories, and essays, as well as her book reviews and her literary, film, and translation criticism. She is considered an Expert Reader for the National Translation Award sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association a (ALTA) and during her long academic career she received honors and awards based on her teaching, program administration, and study and research projects, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages, and others. She earned a Certificate of Applied Literary Translation (University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana/Dalkey Archive Press) in 2014, and Abrupt Mutations (Dalkey, 2018), her translation of Argentine translator and intellectual E.L. Revol's first novel, is her first book-length publication. She is currently translating and seeking a publisher for two novels by novelist, critic, and former Vice-President of Nicaragua, Sergio Ramirez.
Her publications include her poetry and her translations of canonical Spanish-language poetry (West Wind Review, Source), as well as pop-culture stories (Torpedo 1996), book reviews (including in Translation Review), and criticism of Spanish-language literature, translation, and film in various books, journals, and proceedings.
Her monograph on hyperrealism in the Argentine film Despabílate amor [Wake Up Love], "Red Ana and Driving Blind," along with her translations of other contributors' articles were included in Eliseo Subiela, The Poet of Latin American Cinema (Mellen, 2014), edited by Nancy J. Membrez. Abrupt Mutations (Dalkey 2018), her translation of the first novel of Enrique Luis Revol, a 20th-century Argentine critic, university professor, and translator well-known in Latin America, is her first book-length publication.
Public Talks and Readings
Priscilla has been a featured poet or has read her translations of Spanish-language poems as part of writers' series or other literary events held locally (Bloomsbury Books, Southern Oregon Friends of William Stafford, and others) and in Baton Rouge (New Playwrights Theater). In 2003, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) commissioned her to translate Romeo and Juliet into Spanish and organize its presentation in OSF's initial effort of outreach to the local Hispanic public, a simultaneous audio-cast in Spanish for a performance of the play, the audio cast cancelled as the curtain went up when headphones to hear the interpreters went unclaimed.
Among the nearly 40 invited presentations of Priscilla's essays on Spanish-language literature and translation at academic and professional conferences located in the U.S. and abroad, are a keynote address on contemporary Chilean literature delivered to the Organization of (South) Korean Teachers of Spanish (Seoul) and a public lecture on postmodernism in the novels of Manuel Puig (General Villegas, Argentina). After an intensive educational trip to Guatemala and Nicaragua in January of 1987, she was interviewed by local media and press both in Oregon and in Nicaragua and was frequently invited to address issues of Central America at meetings of civic, religious, and educational organizations in both Oregon and Nicaragua, speaking on these topics before collectively more than 2000 people.
At Louisiana State University, she earned a B.S. and concomitant teaching certificate in Spanish and French, and then an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Spanish, with additional graduate credits in French and Portuguese. She also earned university credits in Spanish in summer classes of the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala on the Corinne Sorcier graduate scholarship for travel from her department at LSU. Between 1981 and 2010, she was a professor of Spanish at Southern Oregon University (SOU), teaching advanced language and literature as well as literary translation theory and practices. Between 1983 and 1986 she completed additional graduate credits, including an introduction to literary translation, in residence at New York University (NYU) and in Spain, thanks to professional development grants from her university, earning credits sufficient to qualify for an M.A. at NYU in Hispanic Civilization and Culture there, but did not pursue the title. In addition to periods she has spent studying and traveling in Mexico, Honduras, and Ecuador, she has accumulated several years of experience doing research or working in residence in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and alongside Hispanic and immigrant populations in the U.S. (Oregon, Louisiana).
Priscilla has studied the art of writing poetry with Judith Barrington, Naomi Shihab Nye, Julia Connor, Elizabeth Woody, William O'Daly, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lawson Fusao Inada, and other esteemed poets. She completed a course of literary translation at NYU and has also studied with Willis Barnstone. In 2014, she completed a Certificate of Applied Literary Translation under the auspices of Dalkey Archives Press and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Awards and Recognition
In graduate school, she received a university scholarship for work on her dissertation and, in her more than 40 years of academic training, university leadership, and career experience, she has received teaching, administration, and study awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages, the Melon Foundation and Stanford University, the Ministry of Culture of Spain and Clark University, and others.
In addition to her own work as a Spanish-language professional and as a contracted translator or interpreter, her contributions to the profession and the community include several years of pro bono work as the interpreter at all media and public events of the Hispanic Clearing House at Southern Oregon University and she has often been called on to interpret at bi-lingual public events sponsored by the university and other community organizations. She continues to be a contributing member of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and, occasionally, a contributing member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). She is tapped as needed as an Expert Reader for Spanish submissions to the National Translation Awards sponsored by ALTA.
Priscilla Hunter lives and writes and manages a small vacation house in southwest Oregon, where she raised her three daughters and, now Emerita, was a professor of Spanish language and literature (1981-2010) at a small university (SOU). She is a member of the Authors Guild and the Latin American Studies Association and she now designs and teaches literary translation workshops upon request. Currently she is translating a pair of novels, El cielo llora por mí and Ya nadie llora por mí, by Nicaraguan author and former vice president of Nicaragua, Sergio Ramirez, who, among his many recognitions as a writer, won the high honor of the Cervantes Prize for Literature in 2017.