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Angles receives prestigious grant for translation

April 7, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Dr. Jeffrey Angles has won a prestigious grant of $3,500 to complete a translation of the memoirs of one of the most prominent poets of contemporary Japan.

Angles, WMU assistant professor of Japanese, was awarded a PEN Translation Fund grant by human rights and literacy organization PEN American Center. He is one of eight recipients chosen from 123 applicants this year for the honor. During the next year, Angles will translate "Twelve Perspectives," the 1970 memoir of Mutsuo Takahashi in which the prominent poet describes his youth and sexual coming of age against the backdrop of the rise of the Japanese empire and World War II.

"Not only am I thrilled to have won this award, which many of us in translation look at enviously each year, I am thrilled to have the support to work on this particular project," says Angles. "I have been wanting to translate these memoirs since I first read them as a graduate student many years ago. The language is ravishingly beautiful, and I was profoundly touched by many of the scenes recounting Mr. Takahashi's early life in the poverty-stricken countryside of southern Japan."

In 2003 an anonymous donor established the PEN Translation Fund to support the cause of literary translation into English. Each year since its inception, the fund has given a round of grants to literary translation projects. In five years, it has supported more than 50 translation projects from dozens of different languages. Many of these projects have now been published to great acclaim, and have won top honors in several fields.

For information, contact Jeffrey Angles at jeffrey.angles@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3044.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

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