ALTA is a nonprofit arts membership association that provides programs and professional affiliation to the literary translation community: individual translators, academic institutions, presses, and others working in literary translation. The annual ALTA conference and year-round events are structured around the creation of high-quality art. ALTA also administers awards to recognize excellence in translation and provides fellowships and mentorships to support emerging translators.
Interested in becoming a member? Learn more here.
ALTA's mission is to support the work of literary translators, advance the art of literary translation, and serve translators, and the students, teachers, publishers, and readers of literature in translation.
ALTA is governed by its Board of Directors. Directors are recruited and elected to the board by the membership of the association. Each fall, eligible voting members will receive, by email, more information on the elections and deadlines. Please see the bylaws and the Amended and Restated Certificate of Formation for more information.
Statement of Values
ALTA values inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility as core strengths and essential elements in the success of its mission. We are committed to ensuring equity and access across the broad range of our activities and initiatives, maintaining a culture in which all members, staff, and conference attendees feel welcome, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, language, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ability status, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and other forms of difference, and valuing myriad and differing intellectual and artistic contributions, political and ideological views, and lived experiences for their capacity to enrich ALTA’s work and contribute to its success as a membership organization.
We believe that tangible organizational and personal benefits result from applying a critical lens to ourselves and our environment, individually and collectively examining our biases, assumptions, and worldviews, and challenging and mitigating structural inequities. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is grounded in our aspiration to affirm the identities of our members, build community, and cultivate leadership that effectively contributes to a fundamentally diverse and globally interconnected world.
ALTA does not issue statements on geopolitical events that are not primarily a matter of literary translation.
The American Literary Translators Association was co-founded by Rainer Schulte and A. Leslie Willson in 1978 at the University of Texas at Dallas, where it made its home until 2013. ALTA was founded to bridge cultural communication and understanding among countries and languages through the art and craft of literary translation. ALTA is the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to literary translation.
In 2013 ALTA began transitioning from its former home at the University of Texas at Dallas to become an independently run non-profit arts association. In January 2019, ALTA moved to Tucson and became affiliated with the College of Humanities at The University of Arizona. Today, ALTA is a non-profit, arts membership association that provides resources, community, support, advocacy, and professional affiliation to its members: individual translators, academic institutions, presses, and others working in literary translation.