Romanian Literature Translator Wins NEA Grant
Oct. 7, 2010
A National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant will support a UT Dallas professor’s quest to make the work of an acclaimed Romanian poet available to readers in English.
Dr. Sean Cotter, associate professor of translation studies, international modernist literature and Romanian literature, was among the 20 recipients of a 2011 Literature Fellowship for Translation Projects from the NEA.
The $12,500 grant will support the translation from the Romanian of Belgrade in Five Friends and Other Poems by Nichita Stanescu. Stanescu is a major figure in Romanian postwar poetry, credited with bringing modernism into the Communist era, but remains largely un-translated into English.
Cotter said he focuses on Romanian literature because of his interest in “the literature of international cultural exchange. Contemporary Romanian works reflect intense experiences of globalized literary culture, often more clearly than those of writers from larger nations. By incorporating this context into English versions, my translations become literary responses to Romania's new international context.”
Cotter received his PhD in comparative literature from The University of Michigan. In 2009, he was honored with the PEN Southwest Book Award for Translation and the Institute of Romanian Culture award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Promotion of Romanian Literature through Translation. Among other posts in Romania, Cotter served in the Peace Corps and was a Fulbright fellow.