with Jonathan Galassi, Richard Howard, Mark Strand, Paolo Valesio, and Shirley Hazzard
Columbia University’s Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America will present a public event to celebrate Jonathan Galassi’s new translation (published by Farrar Straus & Giroux) of the CANTI by Italy’s greatest nineteenth-century poet, Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). In addition to Mr. Galassi, readers will include Paolo Valesio, Shirley Hazzard, Richard Howard, and Mark Strand. Mr. Galassi will discuss Leopardi’s life and his translation of the CANTI, and selections will be read aloud in Italian and English.
JONATHAN GALASSI was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1949. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College, where he studied with Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop and served as president of the Harvard Advocate, graduating magna cum laude in 1971. He won a Marshall Scholarship to study at Cambridge University, where he earned an M.A. in 1973.
Mr. Galassi became an editor in the trade division of Houghton Mifflin Company in 1973. He was a senior editor at Random House from 1981 to 1986, when he joined Farrar, Straus and Giroux as vice-president and executive editor. He was named editor-in-chief of FSG in 1988, executive vice-president in 1993, publisher in 1999, and president of the firm in January 2002.
Mr. Galassi has published two books of poems: Morning Run (Paris Review Editions, 1988) and North Street (HarperCollins, 2000). He has also translated several volumes of the work of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale: The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays (Ecco Press, 1982); Otherwise: Last and First Poems (Random House, 1984); Collected Poems: 1920-1954 (FSG, 1998); and Posthumous Diary (Turtle Point Press, 2001). His translation of Giacomo Leopardi’s Canti will be published in 2010. He is also the editor of John Cornford’s Collected Writings (Carcanet Press, 1976). He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review between 1978 and 1987.
Mr. Galassi won the P.E.N./Roger Klein Award for Editing in 1984 and the LMP Editor’s Award in 1990. He has received two Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowships (1979 and 1983), a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry (1989), and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2000). He has also won the John Ciardi Award in Poetry from the Italian American Foundation (1999), the Premio Montale for translation (1999), and the Weidenfeld Translation Prize (1999). He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. In 2008 he received the Maxwell Perkins Award for the publishing of fiction form the Center for Fiction.
Mr. Galassi is honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets, which he served as president from 1994 to 1999 and chairman from 1999 to 2002. He is currently a member of the board of overseers of the California Institute of the Arts and a trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy.