May, 2010, MFA in Writing Kudos
(excerpted from article by Lori Wright, UNH Media Relations)
Reardon will conduct research in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her project is titled “Two Decades Later: Translating Women’s Fiction Since Slovenian Independence.” She will spend the year working with Nike Pokorn at the University of Ljubljana translating a volume of short fiction written by women since Slovenia declared independence in the early 1990s. Through the process of translation, her goal will be able to identify and analyze the way Slovenian nationalism has created a unique literary identity for contemporary women writers in Slovenia over the past two decades.
“While the Slovenian language is spoken by only two million people worldwide,” says Reardon, “within the country, the language is a source of pride and provides a sense of unity. Perhaps more than political opinions, the Slovenian language is credited as being the cultural glue that kept Slovenians together as the nation broke away from the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Therefore, Slovenian fiction writers are charged with two important tasks: to preserve the language and to use their narratives to keep stories and histories of Slovenian culture alive.”
The few anthologies of Slovenian literature that do exist in English largely contain the work of male writers. “The Veiled Landscape,” a published volume of women’s fiction and poetry that was translated into English, had a small print run, is not widely available in English-speaking countries, and was published in 1995, only a few years after independence. Therefore, Reardon’s project will fill a void in scholarship.
Reardon will graduate from UNH in 2011 with a master’s degree in fiction writing. While an undergraduate student at Providence College, Reardon won English department prizes for her prose poetry and fiction writing, as well as awards for essay writing and excellence in English literature. She is published in The Newport Review, the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Fiction, Rhode Island Monthly, and the Stonebridge Press.
Stickney will conduct research in Bologna, Italy. Through her Fulbright project, “The Translation and Study of Immigrant Poets in Italy,” Stickney will study the new movement of immigrant writers who are producing literature in Italian. She will spend the year working with Albanian poet Gezim Hajdari, winner of the prestigious Montale Prize, and with editors of the University of Bologna’s Scritture Migranti, a publication devoted to disseminating the works of immigrant writers.
According to Stickney, immigration laws seemed to have encouraged relocation to Italy during the last 20 years. “Many of the immigrants come from Africa, many from Albania, and some from as far away as Brazil and Palestine,” Stickney says. “The first writing these men and women produced was largely autobiographical, and often required the help of Italian translators. The high quality of these first narratives sparked an interest that encouraged the writers to learn Italian.”
Stickney explains that since some of these first generation immigrant writers pushed themselves to learn the language and to write in Italian, “they write from two traditions and two perspectives. Their poetry exists in a particularly rich arena of language and thought. This work is not only contemporary and influential, it speaks to all people.”
Fluent in Italian, Stickney says her task will be “to cull and translate a representative selection of their poems, which I will publish in the United States. I am interested in the unique culture that these writers have created. An educated, motivated group of artists, they have convened to work and communicate in a language that is no member’s mother tongue. They represent a fascinating moment in the history of world literature, and I want to record it.”
Stickney will graduate from UNH this month with a master’s in poetry writing. While at UNH, Stickney won the 2007 Anne Pazo Mayberry Award for Poetry, the 2009 Dick Shea Memorial Poetry Prize, and the Young Dawkins III award for the best thesis. Her work appeared recently in two publications, Lament and Scarab Magazine. In 2009, Stickney also received the Award in Teaching Excellence from the University of New Hampshire Graduate School.
Marla Cinilia was awarded a Bread Loaf Writers Conference scholarship based on the merit shown in her fiction. Only 12 spots are available for the conference, chosen from a pool of hundreds nation-wide.