Nathalia María Echauri Castagnino for Doce Lunas Llenas: Poesias sobre la Divina Energia Femenina

The PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Prize for Paraguayan Literature has been established by a $100,000 grant from Lily Tuck to assist with the translation of Paraguayan literature from Spanish or Guarani into English. The award, which was conferred for the first time in 2010, carries a cash stipend of $3,000 for the living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature. Another $3,000 is given to the winning translator in order to bring the work to the English-speaking world. The translation prize is open to both established and emerging Paraguayan writers.

From the Judges’ Citation

Nathalia María Echauri Castagnino’s poems take, as their formal structure, the procession of celestial figures behind classical astrology as well as the daily horoscope. Their references to Greek mythology both elevate and give depth to a long meditation on the female as at once a figure of power and of vulnerability, and it permits Castagnino a range of expression from high seriousness to intimate reflection. Over the course of her twelve linked poems, Castagnino draws on a generous range of allusion to create unexpected imagery, often with irony or humor, but also with anger. The poems balance playfulness with fury and build upon on one another with an insistent forward momentum. These are full, rich poems, dense and layered, while the voice remains direct and persuasive. To answer a question Castagnino poses towards the end of her evocative collection, we now have a piece of Paraguay’s being, a piece of its voice, and a piece of its frolicking soul.”


Los poemas de Nathalia María Echauri Castagnino toman, como su estructura formal, la procesión de figuras celestiales detrás de la astrología clásica, así como el horóscopo diario. Sus referencias a la mitología griega elevan y dan profundidad a una larga meditación sobre la feminidad como una figura de poder y vulnerabilidad, y le da a Castagnino un rango de expresiones desde una alta seriedad a una reflexión íntima. A lo largo de sus doce poemas enlazados, Castagnino extrae de una generosa gama de alusiones para crear imágenes inesperadas, a menudo con ironía o humor, pero también con furia. Los poemas equilibran la alegría con la furia y se apoyan las unas sobre las otras con un impulso insistente hacia delante. Estos poemas son llenos, densos, y con muchos niveles, mientras que la voz sigue siendo directa y persuasiva. Para responder a una pregunta planteada por Castagnino cerca del final de su colección evocadora, ahora nosotros tenemos un pedazo del ser de Paraguay, un pedazo de su voz, y un pedazo de su alma juguetona.”

2016 Judges

Ezra E. Fitz has worked with Grammy winning musician Juanes, Emmy winning journalist Jorge Ramos, and the king of soccer himself, Pelé. His translations of contemporary Latin American literature by Alberto Fuguet and Eloy Urroz have been praised by The New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Believer, among other publications. Fitz is also the author of an original novel titled The Morning Side of the Hill.


Amalia Gladhart, professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon, has written widely on contemporary Latin American literature and performance. She has published translations of three novels: The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, both by Alicia Yánez Cossío (Ecuador); and Trafalgar, by Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina). Her collection of prose poems, Detours, was published by Burnside Review Press. Her poems and short fiction appear in Eleven Eleven, Literal Latté, Necessary Fiction, Stone Canoe, Bellingham Review, Cloudbank, and elsewhere.

Mark Weiss is author, most recently, of As Luck Would Have It (Shearsman Books). He has edited and was principle translator of two bilingual anthologies, Across the Line / Al otro lado: The Poetry of Baja California, and The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry. Among his translations are Stet: Selected Poems of José Kozer, Gaspar Orozco’s Notas del país de Z, and Virgilio Piñera’s La isla en peso/ The Whole Island (ebook,


Past Winners

Delfina Acosta, Esteban Bedoya, and Raúl Silva Alonso.

Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.