2016 NEA Translation Fellowships

Temblor

“There, the place where emptiness draws its violin bow over the horizon… .” Excerpt from Vicente Huidobro’s “Temblor de cielo” from Eduardo Anguita and Volodia Teitelboim’s _Antología de poesía chilena nueva_ (Santiago de Chile: Editorial Zig-Zag, 1935).

The National Endowment for the Arts just announced that I am among 20 recipients of a FY16 Translation Fellowship.

I’m working in collaboration with Ignacio Infante to translate Sky-Quake, a long prose poem by the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro. Published in 1931 in Madrid under the title Temblor de cielo and in 1932 in Paris under the title Tremblement de ciel, Sky-Quake is an interlingual and cosmopolitan work. Operatic and highly figurative, it is loosely based on the legend of Tristan and Iseult. Huidobro is among the most celebrated figures in Chilean poetry—he is one of the so-called “big four” along with Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda and his close contemporary Pablo de Rokha—but he still remains underappreciated by an Anglophone audience. I’m very grateful to the panelists for supporting the effort of bringing this important avant-garde work into English.

In today’s press release, NEA Chairman Jane Chu says, “The NEA is committed to providing Americans with diverse art experiences. Our support of literary translation provides opportunities for readers to expand their knowledge of other cultures and traditions while also experiencing some of the world’s most talented writers.” Congratulations to the other fellows: Aron R. Aji, Philip Boehm, Maia Evrona, Jeffrey Friedman, María José Gimenez, Ani Gjika, Jennifer Grotz, Kathleen Heil, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Michelle Har Kim, Michael F. Moore, Benjamin Paloff, Kit Schluter, William Schutt, K. E. Semmel, Donna Stonecipher, Jeremy Tiang, Will Vanderhyden, and Matvei Yankelevich. You can read about their projects here.

~ by Michael Leong on August 4, 2015.

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