Meet Our Translators

William F. Blair

BillWilliam Blair is a hand- and microsurgeon who, during his academic career, published over 200 research papers, book chapters and abstracts, and the textbook Techniques in Hand Surgery. He subsequently participated in the International Writing Program’s Translation Workshop in 2012 and 2014, and is presently enrolled in the MFA in Literary Translation program at the University of Iowa. He has translated María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira’s work extensively. Co-translated and published works include two books of poetry by Vaz Ferreira, Lichen by the Uruguayan poet Luis Bravo, and Great Vilas by the Spanish poet and novelist Manuel Vilas. Blair founded Song Bridge Press in 2013 to promote Spanish language poetry in translation, and to nurture emerging poets and translators.


Pablo Rodríguez Balbontín

Pablo Balbontín is a native of Sevilla, Spain, and enjoys a deep appreciation for Spanish language poetry. He is a graduate of the University of Sevilla, where he earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Literary Theory, and a graduate degree in Screen Writing. He is presently a doctoral candidate in Spanish Literature at the University of Iowa, where he is investigating the interrelationships among literature, gaming, and the media in the context of digitalization. He interests include sharing Spanish culture, literature, and specifically poetry through translation.


Annemarie Pearson de Andrés

annemarie-pearson-335x330Annemarie Pearson is a Literary Translator from Spanish and a PhD student in English at the University of Iowa. She enjoys dual citizenship with Spain and the US and has enormous fondness for the Texas-Mexico border, where she spent her formative years. She is writing her dissertation on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British travelers to Spain, and is currently translating A Voyage to Havana (1843) by Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Countess of Merlin, for her MFA thesis, as well as studying the history of domesticity, craft, and women’s work. She one day hopes to be a certified “Master of Knitting.”


Kelsi Vanada

kelsi-vanada-headshot-croppedKelsi Vanada holds an MFAs in Poetry (The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, ’16) and Literary Translation (The University of Iowa, ’17). She is from Colorado, where she studied English and Spanish at the University of Denver. Kelsi translates from Spanish and collaboratively from Swedish, and is the recipient of an ALTA Travel Fellowship, a Bodtker grant from the Danish American Heritage Society, and residencies at the Prairie Center for the Arts and the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators. She was the 2016 winner of the Asymptote “Close Approximations” translation contest. The Eligible Age is her first full-length translation; Toward Muteness is forthcoming from Veliz Books (2019). Kelsi is the Program Manager of ALTA, the American Literary Translators Association.