Adria Bernardi Awarded the Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship

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Jun 11 2007

June 11— The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Adria Bernardi has been selected as the recipient of this year's Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship. This $20,000 prize is awarded every other year to enable an American translator to travel, study, or otherwise advance a significant in-progress translation of modern Italian poetry. The award allows Ms. Bernardi to complete her translation of Small Talk, by Raffaello Baldini. She also receives a residency at the American Academy in Rome. The judges for the Fellowship were Eamon Grennan, Geoffrey Brock, and Stephen Sartarelli.

Geoffrey Brock says of Bernardi's translation:

Bernardi's ear for the immediacies of Baldini's speech patterns as they come into writing is, on the evidence of these translations, remarkable. She produces a wonderfully kinetic mélange of speech and observation, catching exactly the hurry as well as the colloquial wisdom marking each poem. Each translation manages to create a true "character"—a persona through which we can hear the living sound of this bustling, crowded, factually packed, local life. In this, she performs with great effect the true "bringing-over" task of the translator.

Raffaello Baldini was born in 1924 in Santarcangelo di Romagna, and lived in Milan from 1955 until his death in 2005. His collections of poetry, all written in the romagnole dialect, include E'solitèri, La nàiva, Furistír, and Ad Nòta (Mondadori, 1995), with an introduction by Pier Vincenzo Mengaldo. He received the Dino Campana Award, the Bagutta Prize, and the 1988 Viareggio Prize—the first time the prize was awarded to a work written in dialect.

Adria Bernardi is the author of Openwork; In the Gathering Woods, which was selected by Frank Conroy as the 2000 Drue Heinz Award recipient; and The Day Laid on the Altar (University Press of New England and Plume, 1999). She has also translated Raffaello Baldini's theatrical monologue Page Proof, Gianni Celati's Adventures in Africa, and the poetry of the Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra. She is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, and teaches at Clark University.

Geoffrey Brock's first book of poetry, Weighing Light (Ivan R. Dee, 2005), won the 2004 New Criterion Poetry Prize, and his translation of Cesare Pavese's poetry, Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-1950 received the MLA's Lois Roth Translation Prize and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

Eamon Grennan's collections include The Quick of It (Graywolf, 2005) and Still Life with Waterfall, and his translation of Leopardi: Selected Poems won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

Stephen Sartarelli is the author of three collections of poetry, including The Open Vault (Spuyten Duyvil, 2001). Among his numerous translations from Italian is Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba, which received the 2001 Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award.

The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Fellowship
The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards Fund was established by a bequest to the New York Community Trust by Sonia Raiziss Giop, a poet, translator, and long-time editor of the literary magazine Chelsea. The Trust has selected the Academy to administer the awards. In addition to the fellowship, the awards include a $5,000 book prize, given in odd-numbered years for the translation into English of a significant work of modern Italian poetry. The deadline for submissions to the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize is November 1, 2007. To view the guidelines visit our website at www.poets.org. The competition for the next fellowship will take place in 2008.

The Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, audio recordings, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org.

The New York Community Trust
Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the community foundation of the New York metropolitan area, an aggregate of 1,700 funds created by charitable individuals, families, and corporations, to improve the quality of life for all the area's residents. Grants made from these funds meet the changing needs of children, youth, and families; aid in community development; improve the environment; promote health; assist people with special needs; and support education, arts, and the humanities.