The University of Rochester's Open Letter Books has been selected for an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. The press was awarded $45,000 to support the promotion of books in translation and the continuation of the translation centric website, Three Percent.
"We're extremely grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding us this substantial grant, which will allow us to publish works by authors who have never before been published in English translation," said Open Letter publisher Chad W. Post. "These works include German author Ror Wolf, whose book, Two or Three Years Later, was translated by Jennifer Marquart, a Rochester graduate." The grant will also help fund the translation of works from Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy, Iceland, and Greece.
Open Letter was selected from a pool of 1,509 applicants across more than a dozen artistic disciplines and fields. This year's recommended grants focus primarily on the creation of art and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.
According to NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, "This year's projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs." A complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, can be found on the NEA website at http://www.arts.gov/.
Open Letter publishes 10 works a year and is one of only a handful of presses in the U.S. devoted solely to works in translation. The press runs Three Percent, a website which features more than 50 book reviews per year, the best translated book awards, and news on the business of publishing. The five-year-old venture also provides internships to student enrolled in the University's literary translation programs. For more information about Open Letter visit http://www.openletterbooks.org/.