Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize

The NBCC’s Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize seeks to highlight the artistic merit of literature in translation and recognize translators’ valuable work, which expands and enriches American literary culture by bringing world literature to English-language readers. 


Starting with the 2022 publishing year, the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize will honor the best book of any genre translated into English and published in the United States

The prize recognizes books for their excellence and artistry. The prize will judge the translated English-language book as a work itself. 

It is open to translations of books authored by living or deceased writers. New translations of previously translated books will also be considered. 

N.B. A single book can be nominated for both the Barrios Prize and the general awards, so please feel free to submit a book to both the Barrios and the Poetry award (for example). 

Judging Process

The Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize features a unique, hybrid judging process. 

A small prize selection committee (comprising NBCC board members and regular members) will be tasked with creating a longlist by the fall. Once the longlist is created, the prize judging process will be opened up to all interested regular and board members. From this point, the judging of the Barrios Prize will mirror that of the John Leonard Prize as finalists and winners are selected. 

The winner of the new prize will be announced in the March ceremony along with other NBCC prize winners. The prize will be awarded to both the author and translator, and the NBCC will invite both translator and author on stage to receive their award and give speeches. 

About Gregg Barrios

The prize is named after board member Gregg Barrios, a Latino poet, playwright and book critic who passed away in August at age 80. A South Texas native, Vietnam War-era veteran, and longtime resident of San Antonio, Gregg joined the board of the National Book Critics Circle in 2010 with a desire to give greater representation to those in the country’s “vast heartlands” of the U.S., and to reach the Latinx community. 

As a  board member of the NBCC, Gregg funded the Balakian Prize for book critics with a cash prize of $1000 beginning in 2012, after selling the film rights to his play Rancho Pancho. Gregg also chaired the John Leonard Prize committee and served as the organization’s first VP of Diversity and Inclusion. He firmly believed that the NBCC should have a prize for literature in translation.