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Grad Student Ilaria Papini Wins Second Annual Award fron Hanging Loose Press and Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing

 --Her Prize: Publication of Her Italian Murder Mystery Translation Project--

FLUSHING, NY, May 6, 2013− Getting published for the first time is a struggle for many translators. But Ilaria Papini —a student in the Queens College Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation—will have a book in print this spring, a month before she receives her degree. She’s the second winner of the Loose Translation Series, an annual publication award co-sponsored by Hanging Loose Press and the QC MFA program.

Papini, 50, took the prize with her original translation of Fausto Paravidino’s play Natura morta in un fosso (Still Life in Ditch) from the Italian. In his blurb, crime writer and QC Professor Harold Schechter writes: “Building on a classic noir premise--the discovery of an unidentified dead girl, dumped on the side of a road--Fausto Paravidino’s Still Life in Ditch, masterfully translated by Ilaria Papini, creates something boldly original: a riveting murder mystery constructed entirely of vivid monologues.  As the plot unfolds through the intricate interplay of voices, we are not only swept towards a powerhouse climax but--even more impressively--taken deep into the minds of a half-dozen living, breathing unforgettable characters.”
“As a translator I was drawn to this play because of the lovely and intriguing cascade of references to classic plays and movies,” says Papini, a resident of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Open to Queens MFA students and MFA alumni, the series encourages literary and cultural exchange by publishing innovative work from around the world. Proposed by the college's creative writing faculty, the series is in sync with the MFA Program's unique literary translation track and the college's global vision, and adds to the publisher’s growing list of translations.
“Our MFA program is attracting students whose work often arises from languages and literary traditions quite dissimilar from mainstream American culture,” says poet Kimiko Hahn, Distinguished Professor of English and MFA faculty member. “We believe that their translations deserve to be in print…The goal of this new partnership is to publish work that emphasizes the importance of something that often really does get ‘lost in translation’: the world's diversity of cultures and the people who create and foster them.”
A book signing and staged reading of the play will be held on May 15 at 7 pm at The Little Theater (King 115) at Queens College. Papini will be joined by director Stephen Rowe, a stellar cast of actors from the Drama Department, and the Italian author and actor Paravidino at the performance. The public is invited. “I am thrilled that Queens College has made it possible for them to attend the performance and book signing,” Papini says.
A translator of films as well as drama, Papini has worked in film, theater and television on a broad range of Italian work, including films by Fellini, Rosi, Bertolucci and Antonioni. 
Hanging Loose began in 1966 as a literary journal printed on loose pages. The press has since published both the magazine as well as books by such award-winning writers as Ha Jin, Sherman Alexie, Jayne Cortez, Chuck Wachtel, D. Nurkse, and Maggie Nelson.
The Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, introduced in fall 2007, is the newest of CUNY's MFA Programs. Directed by poet Nicole Cooley, it is only one of two in the country to include literary translation as a parallel tracka reflection of the international atmosphere of the campus and its home borough. Faculty members are all award-winning writers dedicated to teaching. Students also benefit from access to the wider arts community that is New York City. For more information, visit


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