FY 2007 Grant Awards: Literature Fellowships for Translation Projects
Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior
To support the translation from Icelandic of the selected poems of Jóhann Hjálmarsson, incorporating poems from his most recent books. Jóhann Hjálmarsson is the author of 18 books of poetry, three chapbooks, six books of translations, and two volumes of critical essays on Icelandic literature. Hjálmarsson was awarded the 2000 Nordic Literary Prize for his third book of a trilogy of poems, Hljóöleikar (Sound Play), based on Eyrbyggja Saga, whose events take place in the region of Iceland where his ancestors settled. He was presented with the 2003 Icelandic Parliament Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Icelandic literature as a poet and translator.
Christopher Burawa was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1959. He was educated at Arizona State University, and studied Icelandic Language and Literature at the University of Iceland. He received the Witter Bynner Residency Fellowship for Translation in 2006.
Ann Arbor, MI
To support the translation from Polish of a selection of poems by Julia Hartwig. A generous selection of some 140-160 pages will be translated, emphasizing Hartwig's latest volume, Bez Pozegnania (No Farewell), but also including selections from her earlier volumes. Julia Hartwig was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1921. During World War II, she studied Polish literature, philology, and philosophy at the underground University of Warsaw. From 1990 to 1993, she served as vice-chairman of the Society of Polish Writers. She has also received the Austrian Georg Trakl Prize, the Prize of the Turzanski Foundation, and has been a finalist for the Nike Prize.
Bogdana Carpenter is a Professor of Polish and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. She has translated Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz, and Wislawa Szymborska into English, and has received many awards for her work including the Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Prize.
Chapel Hill, NC
To support the translation from Hungarian of The Snake's Shadow by Zsuzsa Rakovszky, a historical novel set in 17th-century Central Europe against the backdrop of religious wars between Protestants and Catholics. An immediate success in Hungary following its publication in 2002 and already translated into German and French, this 500-page novel is Zsuzsa Rakovszky's first work of prose fiction. It was soon followed by her second novel, A hullócsillag éve (The Year of the Falling Star). Rakovszky is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Magyar Irodalmi Díj (Hungarian Literary Prize), the most prestigious literary award in Hungary.
Thomas Cooper is the editor of the contemporary authors project for the Petofi Literary Museum in Budapest. He also lectures on Hungarian studies at the University of North Carolina.
Stony Brook, NY
To support the translation from Greek of the 10 volumes of poetry by Eleni Vakalo that have been collected under the title To allo tou pragmatos: Poiisi 1954-1994 (The Other Side of Things: Poetry 1954-1994). Eleni Vakalo was born in Istanbul in 1921. After the forced exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, her family settled in Athens, where Vakalo lived until her death in 2001. She studied Archaeology at the University of Athens and Art History at the Sorbonne. In addition to her work as a poet, Vakalo was also one of Greece's most prominent 20th-century art critics and theorists. Vakalo received the First State Poetry Prize in 1991 and the prestigious Academy Prize in 1997.
Kern Emmerich teaches Greek and writing at Columbia University. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the PEN Translation Fund, the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Mellon Foundation, the Onassis Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation. She has also received the Elizabeth Constantinides Translation Prize for her work.
Paradise Valley, AZ
To support the translation from Romanian of The Hidden Way, the final novel of the "Hallipa Trilogy" by Hortensia Papadat-Bengescu. The daughter of General D. Bengescu, Hortensia Bengescu was born in Ivesti, a rural community in south Moldavia, one of Romania's largest provinces. Papadat-Bengescu made her literary debut in 1919 with the volume Ape adânci (Deep Waters), which received high praise from one of Romania's leading critics of that time, Garabet Ibrãileanu. Her "Hallipa Trilogy" is composed of Fecioarele despletite (The Disheveled Maidens, 1926), Concert din muzicã de Bach (A Concert of Music by Bach, 1927), and Drumul ascuns (The Hidden Way, 1928). Papadat-Bengescu received the National Prize for fiction in 1946. After the country's takeover by the Communist regime, Papadat-Bengescu lived in dire poverty and received no pension or means of subsistence from the new government. She died in 1955, probably of starvation.
Ileana Orlich is coordinator of the Arizona State University Romanian Program and teaches courses in Eastern European literature and culture. She was educated at the University of Bucharest and Arizona State University. She has received the "Medalia Ordinul Cultural al Romaniei, Ofiter, Categoria A" and the ASU Centennial Professor Award.
To support the translation from Spanish of the collected short stories of Peruvian author Julio Ramón Ribeyro. This volume will include nearly 100 short stories written between 1952 and 1992 and drawn from eight previously published collections. Ribeyro (1929-94) spent most of his adult life in France, but wrote in his native Spanish. Also a novelist and playwright, he is considered one of Latin America's masters of the short story. The critic Julio Ortega has called Ribeyro "the most fertile influence in new Peruvian literature," and his work has been translated into all the major European languages as well as several Asian ones.
John Penuel was educated at Centenary College of Louisiana, and he taught English in Argentina for a number of years. He has previously translated Julio Ramón Ribeyro's diary, prose pieces, and his first novel Chronicle of San Gabriel.
To support the translation from Arabic of Specters, a novel by the Egyptian author Radwa Ashour. In a narrative that is partly fiction and partly fact, the author examines the conjoined destinies of Egypt and Palestine. A respected contemporary figure in Egyptian literature, Radwa Ashour teaches at the Ain Shams University in Cairo. Her previous works include the novels Siraaj, Warm Stone, and The Granada Trilogy. To date, only one of her novels, Granada, has been translated into English.
Barbara Romaine was educated at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has taught Latin and Arabic, most recently at Swarthmore College. Her translations include Bahaa' Taher's novel Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery published by the University of California Press.
To support the translation from German of a new selection of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry and prose. The Inner Sky: Poems, Notes, Dreams will include several pieces of previously untranslated prose, along with other works not currently available in English. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is widely considered the greatest German-language poet of the 20th century. His major works include New Poems, Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.
Damion Searls teaches writing at Harvard University. He has received grants, awards, and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the American Literary Translator's Association, and the Austrian Ministry of Arts. He has also translated work by Ingeborg Bachmann.
To support the translation from Spanish of an anthology of the Argentine writer Rodolfo Walsh's short fiction. The book will include 12 short stories selected from various collections of his work. Rodolfo Walsh (1927-77) is considered one of the finest Latin American authors of the 20th century. He worked for many years as a journalist, and helped in the founding of the news agency Prensa Latina. In addition to his fiction, Walsh also wrote plays, essays, and translations from English. In 1977, he was was assassinated after making public an open letter to the military junta denouncing the crimes of the regime.
Cindy Schuster teaches Spanish at the University of California at Irvine where she is a PhD. candidate. Her work has appeared in Words Without Borders, Poetry International, and the Boston Herald. She co-translated Cubana: Contemporary Fiction by Cuban Women with Dick Cluster.
To support the translation from Russian of Olga Slavnikova's novel, 2017. Set in the near future, 2017 is part science fiction and part political thriller. The story's main character is a gem cutter named Krylov, who works for illegal miners of raw gemstones. Krylov finds himself navigating through diamond mines deep in the Urals, a chance romantic encounter, and riots that mark the centennial of the October Revolution. Olga Slavnikova is the General Director of the Debut Independent Literary Prize. Her first novel, A Dragonfly Enlarged to the Size of a Dog (1996), was short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize. Her second work, Alone in the Mirror (1999), won the Pavel Bazhov Prize.
Marian Schwartz has worked as a freelance Russian translator since 1974. Her work has appeared in Grand Street, Yale Review, Conjunctions, and Two Lines. She has also translated 20 issues of Russian Studies in Literature.
To support the translation from Italian of Sandokan, a short novel by Nanni Balestrini. The book describes the violent and arbitrary injustice of a small town in southern mainland Italy under organized-crime control. Nanni Balestrini was born in Milan in 1935. A respected Italian novelist and poet, he began his career as a member of the "Novissimi" poets and as a member of the "Gruppo '63." Among his most important works are a series of poems entitled La Signorina Richmond, and a number of novels and books of nonfiction focusing upon the often violent and always contentious struggles of the political, union, and student protest movements.
Antony Shugaar studied Italian Literature and Journalism, and has written extensively about the European media and popular culture, with subjects ranging from Silvio Berlusconi to the history of Italian terrorism. He translated Memoirs of an Italian Terrorist and co-authored Latitude Zero: Tales of the Equator.
San Diego, CA
To support the translation from Spanish of a selection of poems by the Cuban writer José Lezama Lima. The poems will be taken from two collections, The Fragments Drawn By Charm (1978) and Enemy Rumor (1941), and will include more than 160 pages from the former, as well as substantial sections from the latter. In addition to poetry, José Lezama Lima (1910-76) is celebrated for his essays, anthologies of Cuban poetry, and two novels. Born in the city of Marianao, Lezama lived through a troubled era in Cuba's history including Castro's regime.
Roberto Tejada is an assistant professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California at San Diego. He is a past recipient of the Chavez Fellowship in Latin American Studies. He has previously translated José Lezama Lima's poetry for the book Poets for the Millennium (2005).
To support the translation from French of a selection of plays by Michel Azama. This volume will make three of Azama's best-known plays (Les Sas, Zoo de nuit, and Vie et Mort de Pier Paolo Pasolini) available to an American audience for the first time. Born in 1947, Michel Azama has served as dramaturge for the Nouveau Théâtre de Bourgogne, and as editor-in-chief for the theater review, Les Cahiers de Prospero. He is currently the President of the L'EAT-Auteur Dramatique in France.
Elizabeth Williamson was educated at Oxford University and Bennington College. She has directed plays at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and at Berkeley Repertory Theater. Nicholas Elliott, co-translator, was educated at Bennington College, and has translated works by Marc-Alain Ouaknin and Jacques Dubois.
To support the translation from Spanish of the novel 2666 by Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño. Roberto Bolaño's novel Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives) was a unanimous winner of the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos prize in 1999, and was widely seen as the first novel since the early works of the Latin American boom to signal a new direction for Spanish and Latin American literature. Six weeks before he died, his fellow Latin American novelists hailed him as the most important figure of his generation at an international conference he attended in Seville. Roberto Bolaño died in 2003.
Formerly an editor at the American Scholar and Publishers Weekly, Natasha Wimmer is a freelance translator. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and the New Republic. She has also translated works by Gabriel Zaid, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, and Mario Vargas Llosa into English.
Total Literature Fellowships Awarded: 14
Total Literature Fellowship Dollars Awarded: $200,000
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
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