Words without Borders 10th Anniversary Gala, New E-Anthology, International Lit Award, New ED

Words without Borders to Celebrate 10th Anniversary Gala, Release New E-Anthology, Present International Literature Award

Drenka Willen to be Honored with Inaugural Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature; Organization Names New Executive Director

New York City, New York, September 30, 2013—Words without Borders releases e-anthology celebrating its first ten years and announces its tenth-anniversary gala on October 29, 2013 in New York City, where the inaugural Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature will be presented to distinguished book editor Drenka Willen. Organization also names its new executive director and announces plans for its innovative education website, Words without Borders Campus.

Words without Borders (WWB), a nonprofit and online magazine, announces the release of the e-anthology Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years, which celebrates the magazine’s first decade of publishing the finest world literature. The collection features work from Abdellah Taïa, Akinwumi Isola, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Carmen Boullosa, Andres Felipe Solano, Goli Taraghi, Yu Hua and Tomaž Šalamun, among others. Editorial Director Susan Harris said of the collection, “This rich anthology demonstrates the global scope and literary accomplishment of our first ten years.”  

Words without Borders (wordswithoutborders.org) has been hailed as an exciting and invaluable resource for readers since its founding in 2003. The New York Times says, “It is impossible not to admire the intelligence and idealism of Words without Borders.” Heralded as “a brainy dating service for your intellect” by Vanity Fair, WWB has brought readers well over 1,600 pieces of remarkable writing from 119 countries and 92 languages in its first decade. Fifteen of its authors have gone on to book publication in the US as a result of their appearance in the magazine. WWB author Johan Harstad says “I'll always be in debt to the wonderful Words without Borders. By publishing my work in English, they set the strangest of wheels in motion. Suddenly I had a great literary agent and two publishers in New York, one in England, and one in Australia.” 

On October 29, 2013, the organization will celebrate its tenth-anniversary gala at Tribeca Three Sixty in New York City. Esteemed book editor Drenka Willen will be presented with the organization’s inaugural James H. Ottaway, Jr. Award for the Promotion of International Literature. Among the authors Ms. Willen has worked with are Nobel laureates Günter Grass, Octavio Paz, José Saramago, and Wisława Szymborska. Special guests at the gala will include poet Charles Simic, author Goli Taraghi, and essayist, translator, and editor Eliot Weinberger. The prize, named for the organization’s first chair, recognizes an individual whose work and activism has supported the mission of Words without Borders of promoting cultural understanding through the publication and promotion of international literature.

The organization is also pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Phillips as its new Executive Director. Ms. Phillips brings ten years’ experience in the fields of international cultural affairs and freedom of expression. She has worked for the Committee to Protect Journalists, freeDimensional, and PEN American Center and served as a consultant for cultural organizations in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. She most recently served in the development department at Americas Society in New York. “WWB is incredibly fortunate to find an inspired, energetic new captain who knows how to navigate the world of international and cultural not-for-profits and is well prepared to take ours on the very ambitious voyage we’ve planned for the next ten years,” said WWB founder and president Alane Salierno Mason.

Phillips’s appointment comes at a critical and exciting time for Words without Borders. Drawing on its diverse catalogue of contemporary world literature and responding to a need to foster global cultural understanding in the classroom, the organization will launch its new education program, Words without Borders Campus, in 2014. This sister education site will offer innovative literary assets and multimedia resources for use by educators, students, and general readers to explore and learn from international writing and global cultural experiences. Plans for the forthcoming launch of Words without Borders Campus will be publicly announced at the tenth-anniversary gala celebration on October 29, 2013.

For additional information, please contact:

Contact Information: Sarah Midori Zimmerman
Organization Name: Words without Borders

E-mail Address: [email protected]
Website Address: wordswithoutborders.org

Founded in 2003, Words without Borders is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of global understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of international literature. To date WWB has translated over 1,600 pieces of literature and poetry representing 92 languages by writers from 119 countries. WWB has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Guardian (UK), Vanity Fair, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as in various foreign-language papers and numerous literary blogs. Our most recent print anthology is Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010).