Skip to content
The Arts

National Endowment for the Arts grant supports Open Letter’s ‘International Voices’ project

Lauded for contributing to Rochester’s creative economy, the nonprofit literary translation press will publish five works of literature with the funding.

Open Letter Books, the University of Rochester’s nonprofit literary translation press, has been approved for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help fund the press’s International Voices project.

The project, which is slated to receive $30,000, will result in the translation and publication of five works of literature from around the world. It is one of more than 1,200 projects across the United States that was selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Open Letter Books that help support the community’s creative economy,” says NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Open Letter in Rochester, New York, is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

“The value of the NEA and these grants to publishers cannot be overstated,” says Open Letter publisher Chad Post. “Without this support, so many voices from around the world would simply be unavailable to American readers. What the NEA allows Open Letter and similar organizations to do is to expand the literary horizons for readers, writers, and translators with these amazing books from all over the world.”

Founded in 2008, Open Letter is one of only a handful of publishing houses in the US dedicated to increasing access to world literature in translation for English readers. The five books included in this year’s International Voices project are:

  • Mothers Don’t by Katixa Agirre, translated by Katie Whittemore (Basque Country, novel)
  • Left-Hand Parenthesis by Muriel Villanueva, translated by Megan Berkobien and María Cristina Hall (Catalonia, novel)
  • Good Men by Arnon Grunberg, translated by Sam Garrett (Netherlands, novel)
  • Roosters Crow, Dogs Cry by Wojciech Tochman, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Poland, reportage)
  • Natural Causes by Nina Lykke, translated by B. L. Crook (Norway, novel). 

The NEA also recommended that the University of Rochester receive $15,000 in Grants for Arts funding to support music; and that the Gateways Music Festival, held in collaboration with the Eastman School of Music, receive $20,000. According to the NEA, there may be a delay in the distribution of some grant awards since the federal government is operating under a continuing budget resolution, which is set to expire on February 18, 2022.

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is an independent federal agency that offers funding and support to give Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.

Read more

"Winter Open Letter novel wins National Book Award
Winter in Sokcho is the first title from the University of Rochester’s literary translation press to be awarded the prize.
"Novelist Joanna Scott returns to short stories in Excuse Me While I Disappear
The acclaimed writer and University of Rochester English professor explores the theme of ‘lost stories.’
side by side book coversPEN America Literary Awards longlist two poetry translations with Rochester ties
English professor Jennifer Grotz co-translated the poems of Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski, and Open Letter published its first poetry book translated from the Korean.
Return to the top of the page