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NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces $200,000 for 16 Literature Translation Fellowships

Since the inception of the literary translation program in 1981, the Arts Endowment has awarded 339 Translation Fellowships in 62 languages from 72 countries

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC - NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman today announced $200,000 in 16 literary fellowships to support the translation of works into English, many of which will result in the first English translation of outstanding works of international literature.

Fewer than five percent of all books published in the United States are works in translation, and an even smaller percentage of these books are works of fiction or poetry. To address the lack of foreign literature in the U.S., the NEA began awarding the translation fellowships in 1981, and since then it has been one of the most reliable sources of funding for translation in the country. This year saw the largest number of applications—105—received for the fellowships.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "Translation not only brings great literature to wider audiences, but it also creates a broader awareness of cultures. Through these 16 fellowships, the NEA is bringing knowledge of cultures around the world, from both the past and present, to American audiences."

These diverse projects include the translation from Tamil of the ninth-century poem "Sacred Speech" by Satakōpan as well as the translation from Spanish of The Annunciation, a novel published in 2008 by Argentinean novelist María Negroni. Translations will come from 11 languages total and include works from 14 countries.

2012 NEA Literature Translation Fellows

  • Eric Abrahamsen (Chinese) for Running Through Zhongguancun by the contemporary novelist Xu Zechen
  • Ross Benjamin (German) for The Frequencies by Clemens J. Setz
  • Lisa Rose Bradford (Spanish) for Oxen Rage by Argentine poet Juan Gelman
  • Geoffrey Brock (Italian) for the selected poems of Giovanni Pascoli
  • Peter Constantine (Russian) for the stories and vignettes from Anton Chekhov's early period (1880-85)
  • Kristin Dykstra (Spanish) for Catch and Release by Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez
  • Michelle Gil-Montero (Spanish) for The Annunciation by Argentinian novelist María Negroni
  • David Hinton (Chinese) for the selected poems of Mei Yao-ch'en
  • William Maynard Hutchins (Arabic) for the novel New Waw by Ibrahim al-Koni
  • Pierre Joris (German) for The Complete Later Poetry of Paul Celan
  • Karen Kovacik (Polish) for In What World: Selected Poems by Agnieszka Kuciak
  • Brandon Lussier (Estonian) for a collection of new and selected poems by Estonian poet Hasso Krull
  • Pedro Enrique Rodriguez Jr. (French) for travelogues and novels by George Groslier, a Cambodian-born French writer
  • Jake Schneider (German) for poet Ron Winkler's Fragmented Water
  • Archana Venkatesan (Tamil) for the ninth-century poem "Sacred Speech" by Satakōpan (popularly known as Nammālvār)
  • Alex Zucker (Czech) for Markéta Lazarová by novelist Vladislav Vančura

Please use Recent Grant Search to see complete descriptions of each funded project.

The recipients of the Literature Translation Fellowships are all recommended for grants of $12,500. (The awards are pending Congressional approval of the NEA's fiscal year 2012 budget.)

The National Endowment for the Arts supports translation not only through these fellowships but also through direct grants to not-for-profit organizations to support projects that promote and develop audiences for international literature. In addition, NEA International Literary Exchanges create partnerships with foreign governments to expand cross-cultural dialogue through the translation and the publication of contemporary literary anthologies, such as the most recent project with Pakistan.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA atwww.arts.gov.