Northwestern professor earns American Academy of of Arts and Letters award


Source: Northwestern

Clare Cavanagh. The Slavic professor received the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2018 Award in Literature.

Jonah Dylan, Campus Editor

Slavic Prof. Clare Cavanagh received the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2018 Award in Literature, according to a Monday news release.

The award is given out for exceptional accomplishment in writing by an academy comprised of 250 members, including architects, artists, composers and writers.

“I always dreamed of making some kind of contribution to literature, to readers and writers as well as scholars, through my work,” Cavanagh said in the release. “But studying and translating Eastern European poetry seemed like a pretty roundabout route, so I never saw this coming.”

According to the release, Cavanagh is widely regarded as the best translator of Polish poetry and has translated or co-translated 17 volumes of work by Wisława Szymborska, Adam Zagajewski, Ryszard Krynicki and other poets. More than 60 of her translations have been published in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic and The New Yorker.

Cavanagh also received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her book “Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland and the West,” and she is currently working on a biography of Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz.

According to its website, the academy was founded in 1898 and gives out more than 70 awards and prizes, seeking “to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts.” Members of the academy — including Theodore Roosevelt, William Merritt Chase and Julia Ward Howe — are elected for life and don’t pay dues.

Cavanagh’s award will officially be presented in New York in May.

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