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Peters awarded National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship

John Peters, professor of EnglishJohn G. Peters, professor and Associate Department Chair of English, has been awarded a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship award in the amount of $12,500 to support the translation from Japanese of Journey, a collection of poetry by Takamura Kôtarô.

Influenced by Western art and literature of the 20th century, Takamura became the first Japanese poet to effectively break with traditional poetic convention by employing free verse and colloquial language.

These 107 poems, published in 1914, chronicle the poet's journey from a life of dissatisfaction and decadence to a new beginning with faith in nature. Only 20 poems from this book have ever been translated into English, and no English translation exists of the entire book.

Peters, left, has studied the Japanese language and culture for more than 30 years. He has translated Takamura’s book The Chieko Poems, and his other translations have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including the Utne Reader, The Literary Review, Artful Dodge, Poet Lore, Sonora Review, Crab Orchard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, New Orleans Review, and Hawai’i Pacific Review.

Additional areas of interest are Conrad studies, British Modernism, Victorian literature, and American Modernism. His book, Joseph Conrad’s Critical Reception, has recently been accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press.

Posted on: Wed 01 August 2012

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