National Endowment for the Arts Supports Russian Translation
Poetry anthologies and literary events upcoming
April 12, 2007
Washington, D.C. -- One of the most profound ways to connect people of different cultures is through literature; exchanging ideas, stories, characters, and histories via the art of translation. The National Endowment for the Arts is embarking on another translation project with the awarding of a $60,000 cooperative agreement to Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Dalkey will undertake the publication of Contemporary Russian Poetry, an anthology, edited by Russian poet and literary advocate Evgeniy Bunimovich.
The anthology will contain three to four poems from each of 44 contemporary Russian poets. Led by U.S. translation editor James Kates, a team of translators will make that anthology accessible to American readers. Dalkey will publish the bilingual anthology and develop the book's promotional plan to include a book launch, readings, and other events. Publication is expected in January 2008.
The NEA is one of the nation's most significant supporters of translation through its Literature Fellowships in Translation to individual translators and grants to small presses to publish translations. Both programs focus on translating other languages into English. The NEA also has initiated a series of translated poetry anthologies. Together these programs augment both the number and variety of international writing available to American readers.
Dalkey Archive Press was selected for the the Russian project through a national competition. Dalkey releases 30 titles a year focusing on world literature from the past 100 years. Among the authors in its catalogue of more than 300 books are winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, in 2006, one of its books, Voices from Chernobyl, won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
In Russia, the NEA is working with the Foundation for Creative Projects in Moscow and the State Library of Foreign Literature. As part of the partnership, a bilingual anthology of 44 contemporary American poets will be published in Russia and launched at the Moscow Poetry Biennial in October 2007.
The Russian project will be the second in the NEA's series of poetry anthologies. The first took place in 2006 as a partnership between the NEA and Mexico's National Autonomous University. The resulting bilingual anthologies featured 50 contemporary poets from each country. The two volumes, Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico and Linéas Conectadas: Nueva poesía de los Estados Unidos provided a model for literary exchanges and one that the NEA adapted for the Russian project and for upcoming projects with Northern Ireland and Pakistan.
For more information, please contact the NEA's communication office at 202-682-5570 or visit the web site at www.arts.gov.
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