The Leon Levy Center for Biography is pleased to announce its 2014-2015 Biography Fellows: Esther Allen, for a biography of José Martí, the Cuban writer and political activist; Peter Filkins, for a biography of H.G. Adler, the German-Jewish novelist; Ruth Franklin, for a biography of Shirley Jackson, the American writer; and James Romm, for a biography of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the Italian Renaissance philosopher.
Esther Allen is Associate Professor of Modern Languages at Baruch College, CUNY, where her research focuses on translation, 19th and 20th century Latin American and French literature, and issues in anglophone globalization. She has been a fellow of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, and she is co-founder of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund and the PEN World Voices festival. She is co-editor of In Translation: Translators on their Work and What It Means, and she has translated works by Javier Marías, José Manuel Prieto, and many others. As a Leon Levy fellow she will work on a biography of José Martí, the Cuban writer and political activist whose Selected Writings she edited, translated, and annotated for Penguin Classics.
Peter Filkins is a poet and translator who teaches writing and literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock, and translation at Bard's main campus. He is the author of four books of poetry, What She Knew, After Homer, Augustine's Vision, and The View We're Granted, and he has translated the collected poems of Ingeborg Bachmann, Songs in Flight, and her novels The Book of Franza and Requiem for Fanny Goldmann. He has been a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and he has received awards from the American Literary Translators Association, the Austrian government, and DAAD, Fulbright, Marbach, and other fellowships. His work has appeared in The New Republic, The American Scholar, The Paris Review, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. As a Leon Levy fellow, he will work on a biography of H.G. Adler, whose Holocaust novels The Journey, Panorama, and The Wall he has translated, all published by Random House.
Ruth Franklin is a book critic and contributing editor at The New Republic. She has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Bookforum, Granta, and Salmagundi, to which she contributes a regular film column. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, was a finalist for the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature. She has been a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in biography. As a Leon Levy fellow, she will work on a biography of the American writer Shirley Jackson, which will be published by W.W. Norton & Company.
James Romm is the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College, specializing in ancient Greek and Roman history. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, London Review of Books, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He edited the Landmark edition of Arrian's Campaigns of Alexander, and he is the author of The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought, Herodotus, Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire, and Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero. As a Leon Levy fellow he will work on a biography of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the Italian Renaissance philosopher.