Professor, Japanese Literature & Translation
Department of World Languages & Literatures
Western Michigan University
"Promiscuous Reading: Living and Loving Between Languages"
Flyer: Jeffrey Angles Flyer.pdf
Abstract: In The Happy Life published in 1896, Charles W. Eliot wrote, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” But can’t books be lovers as well? In this presentation, OSU alumnus Prof. Jeffrey Angles, who teaches Japanese literature at Western Michigan University, will talk about his own experiences, first as a literary scholar and translator, then later as a poet, taking books as friends, counselors, teachers, and lovers. He will discuss the motivations behind his own award-winning translations, including Forest of Eyes: Selected Poems of Tada Chimako and The Book of the Dead by Orikuchi Shinobu, and he will also talk about the ways that his experiences as a translator inspired his own collection of Japanese-language poetry Watashi no hizukehenkōsen (My International Date Line), which won one of Japan’s most prestigious prizes for literature in 2017.
Bio: Born in Columbus in 1971, Jeffrey Angles is a poet, translator, critic, and professor of Japanese literature at Western Michigan University. Since completing his Ph.D. at OSU, he has been active as a scholar of modern Japanese literature and cultural history, publishing numerous books and articles, including the monographs Writing the Love of Boys and These Things Here and Now: Poetic Responses to the March 11, 2011 Disasters. His collection of original Japanese-language poetry Watashi no hizukehenkōsen (My International Date Line), published in 2016, won the highly coveted Yomiuri Prize for Literature, an honor accorded to only a few non-native speakers since the award began in 1949. In addition, he has published dozens of translations of Japan’s most important modern authors and poets. His translations have earned numerous awards, including most recently the Scaglione Prize from the MLA for his translation of Orikuchi Shinobu’s The Book of the Dead.