Fr. Joseph Feeney, SJ, Helps Coordinate First Russian Translation of Gerard Hopkins’ Poems

Some ten years ago, a man named Valery Votrin emailed Fr. Joseph Feeney, SJ, English professor at Saint Joseph’s University and Co-Editor of The Hopkins Quarterly, to ask help in publishing a translation of Jesuit icon Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems into Russian. Mr. Votrin, Russian by heritage, is a Hopkins-loving environmentalist, as well as a novelist and translator. Based in England, he had gathered skilled translators for Hopkins and even found a publisher—Vodolei Press of Moscow—which needed $2,500 as a subvention. Mr. Votrin asked Fr. Feeney if he could raise the sum. Fr. Feeney agreed and soon found five donors to each contribute $500—individuals and groups from Boston College, Regis University, Saint Joseph’s University, and Santa Clara University.

The book is now published: Dzherard Menli Hopkins: Izbrannye stihotvoreniya (in English, Gerard Manley Hopkins: Selected Poems). This Russian edition now joins translations of Hopkins in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Hebrew. It’s a grand tribute to Valery Votrin, Fr. Feeney, the translators, the donors from our Jesuit schools, and Hopkins himself! 

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