John Peters, associate department chair and professor of English, has been awarded a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship award in the amount of $12,500 to support the Japanese to English translation of Journey, a collection of poetry by Japanese poet Takamura Kotaro.
Influenced by Western art and literature of the 20th century, Takamura was the first Japanese poet to effectively break with traditional poetic convention by employing free verse and colloquial language.
The collection of 107 poems, published in 1914, chronicle the poet's journey from a life of dissatisfaction and decadence to a new beginning with faith in nature. Only 20 poems from this book have ever been translated into English, and no English translation exists of the entire book.
Peters has studied the Japanese language and culture for more than 30 years. He translated Takamura's book The Chieko Poems, and his translations have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including:
- Utne Reader
- The Literary Review
- Artful Dodge
- Poet Lore
- Sonora Review
- Crab Orchard Review
- Spoon River Poetry Review
- New Orleans Review
- Hawai'i Pacific Review
Additional areas of interest are Joseph Conrad studies, British Modernism, Victorian literature, and American Modernism. His book, Joseph Conrad's Critical Reception, has recently been accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press.