FY 2010 Grant Awards: Literature Fellowships for Translation Projects
Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior Endowment approval.
The amount of the awards is pending Congressional approval of the NEA's FY 2010 budget.
Arnson Svarlien, Diane
To support retranslations from the ancient Greek of plays by Euripides. These plays, Hecuba and The Trojan Women, along with Andromache, which has already been translated by Arnson Svarlien, are from the middle of Euripides's career, and deal with the aftermath of the Trojan War and the devastating effects of violence on the widows of Troy. One of the three great tragic poets of classical Athens, Euripides is noted for the beauty of his poetry, and the depth of his insight into human nature and behavior. While Arnson Svarlien will use contemporary language, she will preserve the echoes and repetitions of thematically important words, as well as the metrical form of the original works. She will provide scholarly textual notes.
Diane Arnson Svarlien received her doctorate in classics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her translations of Euripides's Alcestis, Medea, and Hippolytus were published in 2007 (Hackett Publishing), and her work also appears in the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Greek Poetry in Translation. She currently serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Classics at Georgetown College in Kentucky.
To support the translation from French of plays by French-African playwright Koffi Kwahulé. Kwahulé is a Paris-based playwright and novelist originally from Côte d'Ivoire. He received his doctorate in theater studies from the Sorbonne, and has written more than 20 plays, which have been produced internationally and translated into several languages. His work explores the dynamics of power and oppression of disenfranchised individuals, the search for identity, and the isolation of contemporary life in urban settings. This fellowship will support the translation of three plays -- That Old Black Magic, Blue-S-cat, and The Melancholy of Barbarians -- completeing Bilodeau's seven-play anthology of Kwahulé's work. The anthology will trace the evolution of his aesthetic, reflecting the influence of Hollywood films, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator whose work focuses on Franco-African theater. Her previous translations of Kwahulé's work have been presented by the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, and her own original plays include Pleasure & Pain, produced by San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2007. She received her MFA in film and MFA in playwriting from Ohio University.
To support new and retranslations of selected poems by contemporary Greek poet Kiki Dimoula. Born in Athens in 1931, Dimoula worked for nearly 25 years as a clerk for the Bank of Greece, and was married to poet Athos Dimoulas. Recognized as one of Greece's most original and innovative voices, her distinguished body of work includes 12 volumes spanning the years 1952 to 2007. She has been awarded the Greek State Prize for Poetry twice, and is slated to receive the European Literature Prize for 2010 from the Association Capitale Européenne des Littératures. This bilingual anthology of selected poems will be published by Yale University Press as part of the Margellos World Republic of Letters Translations Series.
Olga Broumas was born and raised in Greece until the age of 18, when she came to the U.S. on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1967. A poet and translator, Broumas's first collection of poetry, Beginning with O, won the Yale Younger Poets award in 1977. She is the poet-in-residence and director of the Creative Writing Program at Brandeis University in Boston.
To support the translation from Croatian of the novel The Goldsmith's Gold by August Šenoa. Originally published in 1871, The Goldsmith's Gold was the first Croatian novel following a 300-year hiatus in written literature. Although not Croatian himself, Šenoa's goal was to give the growing number of readers in the rising middle class, and particularly women, something to read in Croatian. Because of his success, the Croatian literary era of the 1870s bears his name. Of Šenoa's ten novels, this 300-page work, set in 1574 in the city of Zagreb, is considered one of the most popular. It paints a portrait of political and clerical intrigue, and explores themes including secularity, modernity, the rise of the middle class, and the role of women in society.
Ellen Elias-Bursac received her doctorate in Yugoslav literature and language from Zagreb University in 1998. She served as professor of Croatian and Serbian language at Harvard University for more than ten years, and currently lives in The Hague. Her translation from the Serbian of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer won a 2006 American Literary Translators Association award.
To support the translation from Slovenian of Berlin, a collection of short essays by Ales Steger. Born in 1973, Steger has published four books of poetry, a novel, and a nonfiction book, Berlin, which explores the German city and its literary history through personal essays, poetry, and photographs. Berlin has met with great success in Europe, with German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Serbian, and Croatian translations completed or underway. Steger is regarded as one of the most esteemed voices of his country, and in 2008, was named winner of the Rozanceva Award, the highest prize for essays written in the Slovenian language. He works as a writer, translator, and editor in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Brian Henry is a poet, translator, critic, and editor. His translations include Tomaz Salamun's Woods and Chalices (Harcourt, 2008) and Ales Steger's The Book of Things (BOA Editions, forthcoming 2010). The most recent of his five books of poetry is The Stripping Point (Counterpath, 2007). He co-edits the international magazine Verse.
To support the translation from Spanish of Esther Tusquets's memoir We Won the War. Published to great acclaim in Spain in 2007, We Won the War covers nearly two decades (1939-56) beginning with the post-Civil War years in Spain. It offers insight into Tusquets's personal history and tracks the evolution of her social and policial views as she turns away from her family's pro-Franco stance to join the fight for individual freedom and democracy. One of Spain's greatest living writers, Tusquets (b. 1936) is the author of three memoirs, as well as six novels and two short story collections. She wrote her first novel, The Same Sea as Every Summer, in 1978 at the age of 42. In 2000, she retired from directorship of Editorial Lumen, a prominent publishing house in Barcelona.
Sandra Kingery received her doctorate in Spanish Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently associate professor of Spanish at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Her previous translations include novels and short stories by Ana María Moix and Julio Cortázar. In 2008, Kingery participated in a three-week residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre in Alberta, Canada.
Kover, Tina A.
To support the translation from French of the novel Manette Salomon by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt. First published in 1867, Manette Salomon -- the story of an artist, Coriolis, and his model and mistress, Manette Salomon -- is considered by many scholars the first realistic Western novel about a visual artist. Set between 1840 and 1860 in France, the 460-page novel portrays the artistic and literary circles of 19th-century Paris. The Goncourt brothers, Edmond (1822-96) and Jules (1830-70), collaboratively wrote more than a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction. In addition to Manette Salomon, their work includes the novels Reneé
Tina A. Kover's translation work includes George Sand's The Black City, Alexandre Dumas's Georges, and Maurice Dantec's Cosmos Incorporated and Grand Junction. She studied at the University of Denver and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
To support the translation from German of Die Kinder Beruhigte das Nicht (That Didn't Reassure the Children), a collection of short stories by Austrian writer Alois Hotschnig. Considered one of the most important writers of his generation, Hotschnig was born in Carinthia in 1959, and studied medicine and literature before devoting himself to writing. His works include plays (Absolution, 1994) and novels (Ludvig's Room, 2000, and Leonardo's Hands, 1992, which was published in English by the University of Nebraska Press in 1999) as well as novellas and short stories. This collection was first published in Germany in 2006. His haunting stories maintain a delicate balance between intimacy and isolation.
Tess Lewis is a freelance translator and essayist whose work has appeared in The Hudson Review, The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She studied at Oxford University, the University of Notre Dame, Universität Innsbruck, and Middlebury College. Her translation from German of Once Again for Thucydides by Peter Handke was published by New Directions Books in 1998.
To support the translation from French of the novel Zone by Mathias Énard. Written in a single sentence and based on the structure of The Iliad, Zone is more than 500 pages long, and was a critical success in France when published in 2008. The narrative unfolds during a train journey from Milan to Rome, and interweaves the narrator's experiences in the war in Yugoslavia with other stories of war -- from the Trojan War to World War II to present-day clashes. Winner of the Prix Décembre 2008, Zone is Énard's fourth novel, and the first that will be translated into English. This translation will be published by Open Letter Books in mid-2010. Born in 1972, Énard studied Persian and Arabic and lived for long periods of time in the Middle East. He currently resides in Barcelona.
Charlotte Mandell has translated numerous works of classic and contemporary fiction, poetry, and philosophy, including Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones (HarperCollins, 2009), Marcel Proust's The Lemoine Affair (Melville House, 2008), and Bernard-Henri Lévy's American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville (Random House, 2006). She received her BA in French Literature from Bard College.
To support the translation from Russian of a prose dialogue, Conversations, by philosopher Leonid Lipavsky. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1904, Lipavsky composed this work between 1933 and 1934. It is a creative text that portrays conversations between Lipavsky and poets in the OBERIU group -- considered the last faction of the Russian avant-garde. Its members included Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky, and this work serves as a historical record as well as a creative work, since most of those portrayed were arrested or died in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lipavsky himself was killed at the front in 1941. Conversations only appeared in Russia in 2000 after the fall of the USSR, and has since become a cult classic.
Eugene Ostashevsky is a Russian-born American poet and translator. Editor of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism: 1926-1941 (Northwestern University Press, 2006), he has also published two volumes of poetry, including The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza (Ugly Ducking Presse, 2008). He received his doctorate in Comparative Literature from Stanford University.
To support the translation from French of The Rest of the Voyage, a book of verse poetry by Bernard Noël. A poet, novelist, essayist, historian, and art critic, Nöel (b. 1930) received the French Prix National de la Poésie in 1992. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and essays, including L'espace du poème (2004) and La Face de silence (2002). In The Rest of the Voyage -- a formally structured 111-page volume containing poems with 11-syllable lines -- Nöel examines the collision of the past with the present, with regard to notions of time, architecture, ideals, and ideas of beauty.
Eléna Rivera was born in Mexico City and spent her childhood in Paris. She is the author of Mistakes, Accidents, and the Want of Liberty (Barque Press, 2006), Suggestions at Every Turn (Seeing Eye Books, 2005), and Unknowne Land (Kelsey St. Press, 2000). Her translation of Isabelle Baladine Howald's Secret of the Breath was published by Burning Deck Press in 2008. She was awarded the 2007 Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico.
To support the translation from Yiddish of the play Yankl the Blacksmith by David Pinski. Born in Moscow, Pinski (1872-1959) studied medicine before devoting himself to the then-emerging modern Yiddish theater. In addition to his plays, he is the author of numerous novels, stories, and essays, and was editor of the highly respected literary journal Der Tsukunft (The Future). Yankl the Blacksmith (Yankl der Shmid), written in 1906, was a favorite work of many professional actors and audiences, and was part of the repertory of Yiddish amateur theater groups on several continents. The story of an inarticulate village blacksmith who triumphs in his struggle for virtue, the play is both a drama about marriage and a social commentary on class structure.
Nahma Sandrow is a professor, translator, and author. Her works include Vagabond Stars: A World History of Yiddish Theater (Syracuse University Press, 1995), and God, Man, and Devil: Yiddish Plays in Translation (Syracuse University Press, 1999), as well as two award-winning off-Broadway musicals based on Yiddish theater material. She received her doctorate from the Yale University School of Drama in 1970.
To support the translation from Spanish of the short story collection Missing Persons, Animals and Artists by Mexican writer Roberto Ransom. Ransom (b. 1960), who lives and works in Chihuahua, is the author of the novel Historia de dos leones (A Tale of Two Lions, 1994), and other works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. This work, Desaparecidos, animales, y artistas, was published in 1999 and is considered his most important work of short fiction to date. It includes nine short stories, which range in place -- from Mexico to Europe -- and time, from the contemporary era to the Renaissance. The stories explore such subjects as the loneliness of childhood and the intersection between art and politics.
Daniel Shapiro is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, BOMB, and Poetry Northwest, as well as in anthologies, including Burnt Sugar and Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion. He currently serves as Director of Literature and Editor/Managing Editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, a journal published by the Americas Society.
To support translations from Catalan of selected short stories by Mercè Rodoreda. Rodoreda (1908-83) was one of the most distinguished 20th-century prose stylists in Catalan. Living in exile after the Spanish Civil War, she supported herself by sewing and writing short stories and novels in the Catalan language. Returning to Spain in the 1970s, Rodoreda struggled for recognition, and none of her work appeared in her native country for 20 years. Her novel La Plaça del Diamant (The Time of the Doves, 1962) is now considered one of the best novels dealing with the Spanish Civil War, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. The grant will support the translation of approximately 40 short stories, drawn from three of Rodoreda's lesser-known collections, which represent a diverse selection of her work, thematically and stylistically.
Martha Tennent was born in the U.S., but has lived most of her life in Barcelona. Her translation of Mercè Rodoreda's novel, Death in Spring, was published by Open Letter Press in 2009. Tennent's translations of short stories by Rodoreda and other Catalan writers have appeared in Two Lines, Words Without Borders, eXchanges, and The Review of Contemporary Fiction. She received her doctorate from the University of Barcelona.
To support the translation from Turkish of selected poems by Edip Cansever. Cansever (1928-86) was born in Istanbul during the early, idealistic years of the Turkish Republic. Largely self-taught, he is considered part of the experimental Ikinci Yeni or “Second New” school of modern Turkish poetry. Cansever's work is deeply emotional and surrealistic, yet humorous and rooted in daily life. Although well-known in his own country, only a handful of Cansever's poems have been translated into English, and never has a full-length collection appeared in a language other than Turkish. This compilation, Dirty August, will include an introduction and notes to orient the reader to Cansever's work and modern Turkish culture. Translated in collaboration with Tillinghast's daughter, Julia Clare Tillinghast, it will be published by Talisman Books.
Richard Tillinghast is a poet, essayist, and translator. His most recent works include Finding Ireland: A Poet's Exploration of Irish Literature and Culture (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008) and a collection of poetry, The New Life (Copper Beech Press, 2008). His poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He lives in County Tipperary, Ireland.
To support the translation from Rovignese of a collection of poetry, Conversations with Filip the Seagull in this Corner of Paradise, by Ligio Zanini. Zanini (1927-93) was born in the small fishing village of Rovigno (then part of Italy) on the Adriatic coast. Despite having been trained as a teacher, he found himself fighting the fascists in the 1940s, and after the war was arrested and sent to the prison island of Goli Otok. Following his release, Zanini dedicated himself to poetry, supporting himself by fishing. His work reflects his life near the sea. Zanini is considered the principle poetic voice of Istria, and has published seven acclaimed collections of poetry. Only one, Conversations with Filip the Seagull in this Corner of Paradise, was ever translated from Rovignese (a rare Istro-Venetian dialect spoken only by some 600 people) to Croatian. This work, comprised of 44 lyric poems, will be the first of Zanini's to appear in English.
Russell Valentino translates works of fiction and nonfiction from Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Croatian, and Russian. His essays, articles, and translations have appeared in journals such as Two Lines, Russian Review, eXchanges, The Iowa Review, Circumference, and Modern Fiction Studies. A Fulbright scholar, Valentino is founder and editor of Autumn Hill Books. He has taught Slavic and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa since 1994.
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