National Endowment for the Arts Embarks on Another Round of International Literary Exchanges
Mexico, Northern Ireland, and Pakistan to be featured countries
September 13, 2007
Washington, D.C. -- In its ongoing efforts to promote great literature among different cultures, the National Endowment for the Arts announces three international literature projects through the NEA's International Literary Exchanges. The participating U.S. presses, selected through a national competition, are Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Eastern Washington University Press of Cheney, Washington; and Wake Forest University Press of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The NEA International Literary Exchanges is part of the State Department's Global Cultural Initiative.
The NEA is among the nation's most significant supporters of translation. In addition to the International Literary Exchanges initiative, the NEA awards individual Literature Fellowships in Translation and provides grants to small presses to publish translations.
NEA's International Literary Exchanges funds U.S.-based literary presses to publish and promote contemporary literary anthologies in translation. An important component of each project is substantial public outreach to bring writers of the participating countries to the U.S. for readings and discussions and send U.S. authors to the partner countries to engage with audiences there.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "Literary exchanges are one of the most effective ways to introduce people of different countries to one another. In stories and poems, readers experience the history, customs, and culture of those who may otherwise be foreign to them. I look forward to meeting, via their writing, the authors of Mexico, Northern Ireland, and Pakistan who will be represented in the initiative's upcoming anthologies."
Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign received a $70,000 cooperative agreement to support the translation, publication, and promotion of a bilingual anthology of Mexican short stories. Dalkey Archive will publish 6,000 paperback copies of the anthology that includes 15 Mexican writers born in 1945 or later. The National Autonomous University of Mexico will publish a bilingual anthology of 15 contemporary U.S. writers.
Eastern Washington University Press of Cheney, Washington received a $75,000 cooperative agreement to support the translation, publication, and promotion of an anthology of Pakistani poetry. The Press will publish 2,000 paperback copies of the anthology that features poems by 40 Pakistani poets. The anthology will also include work by contemporary poets, other prominent 20th-century poets, and a few earlier, seminal figures in Pakistani literature. Author and editor Kevin Prufer will edit the anthology of contemporary U.S. poets, to be published in Pakistan by the Pakistan Academy of Letters.
Wake Forest University Press of Winston-Salem, North Carolina received a $35,000 cooperative agreement to support the publication and promotion of an anthology of Northern Irish poetry. The Press will publish 2,000 paperback copies of the anthology that features poems by 30 Northern Irish poets born in 1955 or later. The NEA's partner in Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will work with Irish Pages to publish an anthology of 30 contemporary U.S. poets.
The precedent for the NEA International Literary Exchanges is the NEA's historic work with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and Mexico's National Autonomous University that resulted in the 2006 publication of two bilingual poetry anthologies, Connecting Lines and Líneas Conectadas. The NEA then adapted that model to support publication in the U.S. of a bilingual anthology of contemporary Russian poetry.
For more information, please go to the NEA web site at www.arts.gov
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