J. Kates

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J. Kates
Born James George Kates
1945 (age 71–72)
White Plains, New York
Occupation Poet, Editor, Translator
Language English
Education Wesleyan University
Genre Poetry, Translations
Notable works Mappemonde (Oyster River Press)
Metes and Bounds (Accents Publishing)
The Old Testament (Cold Hub Press)
The Briar Patch (Hobblebush Books)
Spouse Helen Safronsky Kates
Children Stanislav, Paula

James George "Jim" Kates (born 1945 in White Plains, New York) is an American poet, literary translator, and the president and co-director of Zephyr Press. He has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation for the Selected Poems of Mikhail Yeryomin (White Pine Press, 2014). He has published three chapbooks of his own poems: Mappemonde (Oyster River Press) Metes and Bounds (Accents Publishing) and The Old Testament (Cold Hub Press) and a full book, The Briar Patch (Hobblebush Books). He is the translator of The Score of the Game and An Offshoot of Sense by Tatiana Shcherbina; Say Thank You and Level with Us by Mikhail Aizenberg; When a Poet Sees a Chestnut Tree and Secret Wars by Jean-Pierre Rosnay; Corinthian Copper by Regina Derieva; Live by Fire by Aleksey Porvin; Thirty-nine Rooms, by Nikolai Baitov; Genrikh Sapgir’s Psalms — and Muddy River, a selection of poems by Sergey Stratanovsky. He is the translation editor of Contemporary Russian Poetry, and the editor of In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russian Poetry in a New Era. A former president of the American Literary Translators Association, he is also the co-translator of four books of Latin American poetry.

Career[edit]

Since 1997, with Leora Zeitlin, Kates has co-directed Zephyr Press, a non-profit literary publishing house that focuses on contemporary works in translation from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Asia.[1] He is the translation editor of Contemporary Russian Poetry, and the editor of In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russian Poetry in a New Era. He was the president of the American Literary Translators Association.

Life[edit]

Kates grew up in Elmsford and White Plains, New York. He attended Hackley School in Tarrytown and graduated from White Plains High School in 1963. He volunteered for the Mississippi Summer project after his freshman year at Wesleyan University in 1964, helping to implement a special court order encouraging voter registration in Panola County. In the fall of 1964, he organized a Friends of the SNCC/COFO in Paris, France, to support the work of the American civil-rights movement. He returned to America in 1965 to work in Natchez, Mississippi. He later became a public school teacher, a non-violence trainer for interpersonal and political movements, and a poet and literary translator.

He is married to Helen Safronsky Kates. They have two children, Stanislav (1986) and Paula (1994).

Awards[edit]

  • 1984 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry[2]
  • 1995 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts[3]
  • 2006 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Project Fellowship[4]

Published Works[edit]

  • Mappemonde (Oyster River Press) [5]
  • Metes and Bounds (Accents Publishing)
  • The Old Testament (Cold Hub Press)
  • The Briar Patch (Hobblebush Books) [6]
  • Muddy River (translation of poems by Sergey Stratanovsky) Carcanet Press: 2016
  • Thirty-nine Rooms (translation of a poem by Nikolai Baitov) Cold Hub Press: 2015
  • Selected Poems 1957-2004 (translation of poems by Mikhail Yeryomin) White Pine Press: 2014
  • Psalms 1965-1966 (translation of poems by Genrikh Sapgir) Cold Hub Press: 2012
  • Live by Fire (translation of poems by Aleksey Porvin) Cold Hub Press: 2011
  • An Offshoot of Sense (translation of poems by Tatiana Shcherbina) Cold Hub Press: 2011
  • Level with Us (translation of poems by Mikhail Aizenberg) Cold Hub Press: 2011
  • Corinthian Copper (translation of poems by Regina Derieva) Marick Press: 2010
  • Secret Wars (translation of poems by Jean-Pierre Rosnay) Cold Hub Press: 2010
  • When a Poet Sees a Chestnut Tree (translation of poems by Jean-Pierre Rosnay) Green Integer Press: 2009
  • Contemporary Russian Poetry (translations editor) Dalkey Archive Press: 2008
  • Say Thank You (translation of poems by Mikhail Aizenberg) Zephyr Press: 2007
  • Less Than a Meter (translation of poems by Mikhail Aizenberg) Ugly Duckling Presse: 2004
  • Las Edades / The Ages (translation of poems by Ricardo Feierstein*) Colleción Poesía: 2004
  • The Score of the Game (translation of poems by Tatiana Shcherbina) Zephyr Press: 2003
  • Self-Portraits and Masks (translation of poems by Isaac Goldemberg*) Cross-Cultural Communications: 2002
  • In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russian Poetry in a New Era (editor) Zephyr Press: 1999
  • We, the Generation in the Wilderness (translation of poems by Ricardo Feierstein*) Ford-Brown Press: 1989
  • A Voice Among the Multitudes: Jewish Poets from Latin America*, Northeastern University Libraries: 2011

Translations[edit]

  • The Score of the Game by Tatiana Shcherbina
  • An Offshoot of Sense by Tatiana Shcherbina
  • Say Thank You by Mikhail Aizenberg
  • Level with Us by Mikhail Aizenberg
  • When a Poet Sees a Chestnut Tree by fr:Jean-Pierre Rosnay
  • Secret Wars by fr:Jean-Pierre Rosnay
  • Corinthian Copper by Regina Derieva
  • Live by Fire by Aleksey Porvin
  • Genrikh Sapgir’s Psalms
  • Co-Translator with Stephen A. Sadow of four books on Latin American Poetry

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zephyr Press". 
  2. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Announces 13 Literature Translation Fellowships" (Press release). National Endowment for the Arts. 4 August 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "New Hampshire Arts News" (PDF). New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Winter 2005–2006. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Supports Russian Translation" (Press release). National Endowment for the Arts. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Oyster River Press". 
  6. ^ "Hobblebush Books".