William & Mary

Monroe Alumnus Wins Literary Translation Prize

Andrew Zawacki ’94 was recently awarded a Literary Translation Prize from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the translation from the French of Sebastien Smirou's second poetry book, "See About: Beastiary." 

Smirou (b. 1972) is a psychoanalyst specializing in working with troubled children. "See About: Beastiary" is his second volume of poetry; each chapter features a different animal - lion, giraffe, chamois, cow, cat, turtle, glowworm, and dodo - each presented in order of decreasing size. The book is divided into eight chapters, each containing eight poems, with each poem exactly eight lines. The last line, or a portion of it, is repeated in every poem within a section. The title is eight letters, and the full volume is exactly 64 pages. Smirou's work has been described as poised between exhibition and exhibitionism, inventory and invention.

Zawacki was a Monroe Scholar at the College of William and Mary and was the school’s second ever Rhodes Scholar in 1994, allowing him to continue his education at the University of Oxford and the University of St. Andrews. A former Fulbright Scholar to Australia, he earned his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is currently serving as the Director of the Creative Writing Program in the English Department at the University of Georgia.

Andrew Zawacki is a poet, critic, editor, professor and translator. His translation of Smirou's "My Lorenzo" was published by Burning Deck Press in 2012. His poetry collections include "Videotape" (Counterpath Press, 2013); "Petals of Zero Petals of One" (Talisman House, 2009); "Anabranch" (Wesleyan University Press, 2004); and "By Reason of Breakings" (University of Georgia Press, 2002).

The College of William and Mary and the Monroe Scholars program continue to be proud of this distinguished alumnus’ accomplishments.