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8/13/14
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Douglas Basford has been recommended for an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. Basford is one of 20 recommended fellows for 2015. In total, the NEA plans to distribute $300,000 in this round to support the new translation of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from 12 different languages into English.
 
Domenico di Giovanni (1404-1449), known by his nickname Il Burchiello, trained as a barber-surgeon and opened his own shop in Florence, where the city’s literati and others gathered for impromptu sonnet matches in which barbed, versified insults were levelled by competitors. Burchiello was commissioned to write sonnets against the Medici by a competing family, the Albizzi, and when the Medici returned to power, he was forced into exile, first to Siena, where he became ill (and even more ill with ill-considered medical intervention) and spent time in prison for debts and insolent, violent behavior, writing sonnets to various authorities and patrons that move between pleading, rage, and gallows humor. His travels took him then to Venice and Rome, and he took to mimicking the accents from the various cities he visited.
 
His work is best known for its bizarre images piled up “alla burchia,” like the merchandise on river barges and boats. His sonnets offer a cross-section of contemporary life not found in his earlier forebears Dante and Petrarch, showing a great range of tonalities (bitingly satirical, despondent, earnest, bawdy, defiant, baffled, playful) and subjects (medical quackery, fortune-telling, pest-infested accommodations, the violence of jousting, bathing, clerical misbehavior, the bookish excesses of scholastics and grammarians). Although his sonnets, of which approximately 200 survive and which will form the basis for the anticipated book-length publication Oarless: The Sonnets of Burchiello, were to become widely imitated over the next two centuries, even by Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, Burchiello died, possibly from syphillis, in Rome in penury.
 
Douglas Basford, has been Assistant Director of Composition in the Department of English since 2008, having previously taught at Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, and Goucher College. A poet, critic, and scholar of the history and rhetoric of science, he has published translations of poetry and prose in various journals—Poetry, Subtropics, Western Humanities Review, Two Lines, The Atlanta Review, Words without Borders, Formes Poétiques Contemporaines, and SubStance—and in edited collections—The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and The Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550-1750 (Getty Research Institute). He co-edits the online journal Unsplendid, which specializes in poetry in received forms, and is the Italian language editor of Coeur Publishing, a new venture for book-length translations of world literature.
 
"The NEA's long history of supporting literary translation is one of the most important ways we can broaden our nation's perspectives while also making the work of these talented writers and translators more available," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "This recommended award will go a long way in fostering a sense of empathy and understanding for how people from different countries and cultures connect with each other and live their lives."
7/16/14
Carrie Bramen was selected for the Anne LaBastille Writers Residency at the Adirondack Writing Center in October 2014 (http://www.adirondackcenterforwriting.org/programs/twitchell-lake-residency). While in residence, she will be working on her book-in-progress, on American niceness. Bramen is one of six writers selected this year, and the only writer of academic prose.
6/30/14
Kristina Darling has received awards for her poetry from the Ucross Foundation and the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences. She was accepted as a Visiting Artist by the American Academy in Rome for the Fall, 2014.
The Negro and His Folklore in Nineteenth Century Periodicals
6/30/14

Bruce Jackson’s 1967 study,The Negro and his Folklore in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals (American Folklore Society and University of Texas Press, 1967), was republished this week by the University of Texas Press. The work is about how white Americans in the nineteenth century saw and wrote about African Americans. A copy can be found here: http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/jacnep

The Negro and his Folklore is one of three major studies Jackson published in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The other two, Wake Up Dead Man: Afro-American Worksongs from Texas Prisons (1972) and Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me: African American Poetry from the Oral Tradition (1974), were published by Harvard University Press. Wake up Dead Man was brought back into print by University of Georgia Press in 1999, and Get Your Ass in the Water was bought back by Routledge in 2004. All three works are considered classics in American Studies.

6/27/14
Congratulations to Margaret Konkol, who has been offered a one-year Visiting Assistant Professor position at New College in Sarasota, FLA!  She is now ending her second year of a 3-year Brittain fellowship at Georgia Tech.