Awards and Honors, Faculty News

Feitlowitz Receives National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that Marguerite Feitlowitz will receive a Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. This Fellowship will support the translation into English of two books  by Chilean poet Ennio Moltedo.

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Feitlowitz is one of 24 Literature Translation Fellows for fiscal year 2020. In total, the Arts Endowment will award $300,000 in grants to support the new translation of poetry, prose, and drama from 19 countries into English.

Ennio Moltedo (1931-2011) is revered in his native Chile and among critics of 20th-century Spanish-language poetry. Feitlowitz will translate the 113 prose poems of La Noche, written under the Pinochet regime, but not published until 1999; as well as the longer and denser 2011 collection Las Cosas nuevas. A native of Valparaíso, Moltedo is a poet of the sea and his connection to ancient Mediterranean poets is palpable. He has been compared with Cavafy for his allegiance to a city at once mythic and mundane, with Char, for the inventiveness of his political poems; with Saba for his mastery of concision. His work appears in English for the first time in Feitlowitz’s translations.

“Reading, writing, and translating have always been fluid in my work and life,” said Marguerite Feitlowitz. “Translation projects have led to primary research and original books; my own writing has created affinity with authors whose work I have been drawn to translate. My work has always been concerned with how collective disaster, and the memory of disaster, affects our relationship to language: to narrative form, the making of images, the rhetorical framing of theatre. I am drawn to writers whose response to repression and trauma is to radically remake form and genre, to refuse received notions of meaning and convention, and to expose not just the imposition of terror, but also the ways terror gets internalized and passed on, even in times of apparent security. Sustained immersion in testimony, setting, and history has been essential to all of my projects.”

Since 2002, Feitlowitz has taught Literature and Literary Translation at Bennington College.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support the work of literary translators, including Marguerite Feitlowitz, bringing stories and perspectives from all over the world to new audiences through their skill and creativity,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since 1981, the NEA has awarded 504 fellowships to 445 literary translators, with translations representing 70 languages and 86 countries. 

Visit the agency’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects and Creative Writing Fellows. For more information on literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, go to