Alumni News, Faculty News

Bennington College Alum and Visiting Faculty Member Bruna Dantas Lobato ’15 Wins 2023 National Book Award for Translation

Bennington College congratulates Bruna Dantas Lobato ’15 who won the National Book Award for her translation of Stênio Gardel’s The Words That Remain in a ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, November 15.

Bruna Dantas Lobato ’15

“It was thrilling to be in the audience at the National Book Awards and see Bruna receive that kind of recognition,” said Mark Wunderlich, Executive Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing. “Bennington has always been a place dedicated to the education of writers, and to see one of our own lifted up in this way is enormously gratifying.”   

Dantas Lobato will teach three classes at Bennington during the spring term of 2024, including “Reading and Writing the Short Story: The Body;” “The Immigrant Novel;” and “Experimental Fiction by Women.” 

“Bruna was an exceptional Bennington student,” reminisced Literature faculty member Michael Dumanis, who worked with Bruna in two courses at Bennington. “Her wry, thoughtful short stories deftly interrogated the cross-cultural experience of a young Brazilian in the United States with artfulness and precision. Bruna was studious and highly engaged, the kind of student who helps drive classroom discussions with sharp, original insights. I am delighted to welcome her back next term as a visiting faculty member.”

In addition to translating The Words That Remain, Dantas Lobato is the author of the upcoming novel Blue Light Hours (Grove Atlantic, 2024). Originally from Natal, Brazil, she has also translated Jeferson Tenórios The Dark Side of Skin, winner of a 2023 English PEN Translates Award, and Caio Fernando Abreu's Moldy Strawberries, which was longlisted for the 2022 PEN Translation Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize. Moldy Strawberries was the winner of a PEN/Heim Translation Grant.

Dantas Lobato's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, A Public Space, and The Common and has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, Jentel, A Public Space, NYU, the Outpost Foundation, Disquiet International, and more. She holds an MFA in Fiction from New York University, an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, and a BA in Literature from Bennington College. Her complete faculty bio is at 

In addition, Justin Torres, the 2023 National Book Award winner for Fiction, has been a faculty member in the Bennington Writing Seminars. 

“Justin Torres is a friend, and I was so happy to see his excellent novel win,” Wunderlich said. 

About Bennington College
Bennington College’s alumni include twelve Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poets laureate, four MacArthur Geniuses, and countless New York Times bestsellers and National Book Award recipients. 

Recent graduates have gone on to attend PhD and MFA programs in literature and creative writing at Stanford University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, NYU, UVA, Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of Massachusetts, Arizona State, and Brown University. Graduates have had poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, and book reviews published or accepted by The Atlantic Wire, The Awl, Boston Review, Christian Science Monitor, Denver Quarterly, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Ploughshares