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Adam Cullen (translator)

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Adam Cullen (born 28 February 1986) is a translator of Estonian prose, poetry, and drama into English.[1][2]

Career[edit | edit source]

Cullen graduated in 2007 from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Global Studies and Russian. He also attended Russian-language classes in Kiev, Ukraine and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Translation[edit | edit source]

In December 2007, Cullen moved to Tallinn, Estonia with the intention of learning the Estonian language through language immersion.[3][4] He began translating news articles as a volunteer for the Finno-Ugric cultural nonprofit organization Fenno-Ugria. Cullen's first literary translations were completed in 2011, and he began translating full-time as a freelancer two years later. He has been a member of the Estonian Writers' Union since 2014 and was on the board of its Translators' Section from 2015–2018.[5]

Prose[edit | edit source]

Cullen first began translating Estonian literature in cooperation with the Estonian Literature Center in 2011. His first full-length prose translation, Indrek Hargla's gothic crime novel Apothecary Melchior and the Mystery of St. Olaf's Church, was published a number of years later by Peter Owen Publishers. Cullen's first full-length prose translation to appear in print was Tõnu Õnnepalu's Radio (Dalkey Archive Press, 2014).[6]Cullen has since translated a large amount of Estonian prose by authors including Mihkel Mutt, Rein Raud, Kai Aareleid, Urmas Vadi[7], Maarja Kangro, Armin Kõomägi, Jan Kaus[8], Eeva Park, Vahur Afanasjev, Jüri Kolk, Mehis Heinsaar, and others. He contributes prose translations to the Estonian Institute's Estonian Literary Magazine and is a member of its editorial board.[9]

Children's literature[edit | edit source]

Cullen works closely with the Estonian Children's Literature Center, translating prose excerpts and literary catalogues. His translation of Eno Raud's classic Estonian children's book The Gothamites will be published by Archipellago Books.

Poetry[edit | edit source]

Cullen has translated Estonian poetry including works by Asko Künnap, Jürgen Rooste, Karl Martin Sinijärv, Veronika Kivisilla, Indrek Koff, Helena Läks, Kai Aareleid, Kristjan Haljak, Igor Kotjuh, and Kaur Riismaa.

Drama[edit | edit source]

In cooperation with the Estonian Theater Agency, Cullen has translated close to a dozen works of Estonian drama by playwrights including Kadri Noormets, Piret Jaaks, Silvia Soro, Piret Saul-Gorodilov, Mari-Liis Lill, Paavo Piik, Martin Algus, Peeter Sauter, and Andrus Kivirähk.

Cullen's debut multilingual poetry collection SAMBLIK / LICHEN

Original poetry[edit | edit source]

Cullen began writing original poetry in 2013, both in his native English and in Estonian. His debut multilingual collection Lichen / Samblik (Näo Kirik, 2017) was published in Estonia.[10] Cullen's second poetry collection will be published by Tuum in the fall of 2018.

Music[edit | edit source]

Cullen is a folk violinist, focusing mainly on Irish and Nordic traditional music. Together with Asko Künnap and Kivi Larmola, he is also a member of the experimental Estonian ensemble Au.[11][12] Cullen sings in the Estonian mixed choir Noorus.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Cullen originates from Minnesota. He has lived in Tallinn, Estonia since 2007, apart from a brief stint in the coastal town of Haapsalu. He also has strong ties to the western Estonian parish of Noarootsi.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Adam Cullen - CV | Estonian Literature". www.estlit.ee. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  2. "A Minnesotan Writing in Estonian: An Interview with Adam Cullen". Deep Baltic. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  3. "Adam Cullen – the American who fell in love with Estonia and its literature". Estonian World. 2014-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  4. Andra (2016-08-22). "Ameeriklasest estofiil - iseseisvast keeleõppijast kirjandusklassika tõlkijaks - YU Meedia". YU Meedia (in eesti). Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  5. Ekspress, Eesti (1495575602). "Adam Cullen: „Eesti kirjanduse tõlkimine on minu leib ja sool!"". Paber EE. Retrieved 2018-08-21. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ERR (2016-04-03). "Keelesaade. Tõlkija Adam Cullen | Vikerraadio | ERR". ERR (in eesti). Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  7. Vadi, Urmas. "Neverland - Words Without Borders". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  8. Kaus, Jan. "Four Prose Poems - Words Without Borders". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  9. "About". Estonian Literary Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  10. "Lichen – Adam Cullen". Deep Baltic. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  11. "AU – Künnap, Larmola, Cullen". AU – Künnap, Larmola, Cullen. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  12. Tuotantoyhtiö Käenpesä (2017-03-11), AU "Salasuvi", retrieved 2018-08-21

External links[edit | edit source]

Official facebook page


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