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Open Letter awarded National Endowment for the Arts grant

December 9, 2014
Open Letter logoOpen Letter is one of only a handful of publishing houses dedicated to increasing access to world literature for English readers.

Open Letter Books, the University of Rochester’s literary translation press, recently received one of this year’s largest Arts Works grants in literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $60,000 grant will support the publication and promotion of several books in 2015, including Rochester Knockings, a novel based on the Rochester-based religious movement of Spiritualism and the famous Fox Sisters.

“We’re extremely grateful to the NEA for this generous award,” said Open Letter Publisher Chad W. Post. “To be awarded the third largest grant in the literature category is one of the highest honors a nonprofit publisher can receive. But even more importantly is that this award allows us to introduce English readers to six amazing new books.”

The press was one of 55 organizations to receive a grant in this year’s literature category. In 2014, the NEA received more than 1,400 applications for Arts Works grants, requesting more than $75 million in funding.

According to NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Jane Chu, the grants were created to “foster value, connection, creativity, and innovation for the American people and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

Open Letter is one of only a handful of presses in the U.S. devoted solely to publishing literary works in translation, which represent fewer than three percent of books published in the United States. In addition to traditional book promotions, Open Letter runs Three Percent, a website featuring a daily blog on books and publishing issues, book reviews, the Best Translated Book Awards, a weekly podcast, and a translation database. The press also has close ties to the University of Rochester’s literary translation studies program.

In addition to supporting the publication of Rochester Knockings (translated by Jennifer Grotz, associate professor of English at Rochester), the grant will support the publication of five additional books: Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven (translated by J.T. Mahany ’13); Traces of Time; Rock, Paper, Scissors; So Much, So Much War; and Loquela (translated by Will Vanderhyden ’13).

For more information on Open Letter Books, visit


About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester ( is one of the nation’s leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

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Category: University News