Translation Student Named Fulbright Fellow to Italy

Anne Greeott at a reading of her work (photo by Brandon Otto)
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Anne Greeott at a reading of her work (photo by Brandon Otto)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Anne Greeott, a second-year literary translation student in the University of Arkansas graduate programs in creative writing and translation in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a 2014-15 Fulbright U.S. Student Award. She is one of only 17 students nationwide selected for a study/research grant to Italy.

During her nine-month fellowship, Greeott will collaborate with the Fondazione Mario Luzi in Rome to research and translate poetry by the Italian author Mario Luzi. The foundation was designed to support scholars researching subjects that were of interest to Luzi, such as cultural, literary and human studies. Luzi, who died in 2005, published 21 volumes of poetry, as well as plays, essays, criticism and translations of Shakespeare, Coleridge and Racine. He was awarded Italy’s Viareggio Prize and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Luzi had a long career in writing, from 1935 to 2005, but very little of his early work has been translated into English. These early poems are more lyrical, more hermetic, sometimes harder to comprehend or follow,” Greeott said. “There aren’t many experts on Luzi in the U.S., so having the opportunity to confer with scholars and critics will be invaluable as I try to interpret his work, both literally and poetically.”

The spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Italian Translation features five Luzi poems translated by Greeott. Her research is building toward one or more published collections of Luzi’s poetry in English, specifically focusing on poems written before 1970.

Greeott’s affiliation with the Luzi foundation will not only connect her with scholars and critics but also will grant her access to libraries and archives in Rome, Florence and Pienza, where Luzi’s official papers are housed. Permission to use such collections is more tightly controlled in Italy than in the U.S.

 “Anne is an exceptional scholar and a wonderful translator. Fulbright fellowships are not easy to obtain, and fellowships to Italy are particularly competitive,” said Davis McCombs, director of the programs in creative writing and translation. “It’s a testament to Anne’s creative talent and her commitment to the work of Mario Luzi that she received this honor. We’re tremendously proud.”

In addition to her own research and writing, Greeott will work with public high schools in Italy to hold workshops on creative writing and literary translation. She is deeply familiar with the language and culture of Italy and looks forward to connecting with young students and encouraging their engagement with poetry and language. She lived in Florence from 1996-1998 and later earned a master’s degree in Italian from Middlebury College. Following her fellowship, Greeott will return to the University of Arkansas to complete her Master of Fine Arts in literary translation.

The first courses in literary translation at the University of Arkansas were offered in 1971 by Miller Williams. Three years later, the university’s creative writing program officially established literary translation as a master of fine arts degree track, alongside the already existing tracks in fiction and poetry. The translation program was a significant reason that The Atlantic Monthly named the University of Arkansas among the “Top Five Most Innovative” Master of Fine Arts programs in the nation in 2007.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program was started through legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright. Fulbrighters meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing their daily experiences.


Davis McCombs, director
Programs in Creative Writing and Translation

Anne Greeott, student
Programs in Creative Writing and Translation

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