Open Letter Books, a nonprofit, literary translation press at the University of Rochester, has been selected to receive an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
The press was selected to receive a $50,000 grant—the second highest amount awarded in the Art Works literature category—from a pool of 1,528 applicants across more than a dozen artistic disciplines and fields. The grant will help support Open Letter's efforts to publish and promote translated works by emerging international authors from Argentina, Russia, Chile, Israel, Bulgaria, and France.
"This grant will allow us to further expand our mission of introducing English readers to underrepresented and as-of-yet undiscovered international authors," said Open Letter publisher Chad W. Post. "The ten titles Open Letter will be publishing in 2014 represent eight languages, and three are contemporary prose works from authors who have never before been published in English."
According to NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa, the projects funded through NEA grants "all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts." A complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support can be found on the NEA website at www.arts.gov.
Open Letter is one of only a handful of presses in the U.S. devoted solely to works in translation, which represent fewer than 3 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. Both Open Letter and Three Percent introduce English readers to international works, which are distributed throughout the world in print and e-book format. For more information on Open Letter, visit http://www.openletterbooks.org.