In review: March 2020

Blog news

Nothing accomplished on this front due to covid-19.

Hoping this will change in the coming weeks.

March reading


  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans. Back on the carousel.
  • Кубики by Mikhail Elizarov. Back on the carousel.



  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, trans. William Weaver. I will finish this time.
  • Практическая фонетика русского языка для иностранных учащихся by L.A. Verbitskaya and L.V. Ignatkina.
  • The Silk Road: A New History by Valerie Hansen. Source for a research paper.
  • The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics by Edward Schafer. Source for a research paper.
  • “Infection and Immunity” (free online course on OpenLearn).

Language and translation

March progress – Russian

I practice Russian for 4 hours per day now that I am in quarantine. Still having trouble incorporating regular conversation practice, however. For now, I am reading modern Russian plays aloud, reworking songs into monologues and preparing brief presentations to an invisible audience in my room until I find a new job, which will enable me to pay for lessons.

March progress – translation

  • Applied to rusTRANS fellowship with an excerpt from Дорога в У. by Aleksandr Ilyanen.

Translation opportunities

Sparse. Taking a hiatus from Twitter. That’s probably why.


The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) has extended deadlines for submissions to five of its awards: National Translation Award in Prose, National Translation Award in Poetry, Italian Prose in Translation Award, Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, ALTA Travel Fellowships. New deadline is May 4th at 11:59pm. Details here.


Help indie bookstores survive during the COVID-19 pandemic!

Not a translation opportunity, but still worth promoting. The Center for the Art of Translation has compiled a list of independent booksellers across the U.S. which are accepting online orders. Independent bookstores perform an important function as community spaces, and it would be awful to see them go under during pandemic-related economic instability.

I would also encourage you to support Malaprop’s Bookstore of Asheville, NC (not listed). Like the other bookshops, it is closed but doing online orders and also accepting donations.

New discoveries

Stuck at home and looking for educational resources in Russian? East-West Digital News has you covered.

Russian culture, education and entreprise software available online for free in times of quarantine


In need of a new quarantine read? Have a research paper due next Tuesday but your local library is closed? The Internet Archive has created a National Emergency Library, “a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed.” Despite its name, the digital library is free to read for anyone anywhere in the world, so long as they have an internet connection.


Another great source of free ebooks? Project Gutenberg. Just sayin’.


Academic Studies Press is promoting a new project: Contemporary Western Rusistika: a series of scholarly monographs in Russian Studies published in Russian translation for the first time. The project’s mission is “to provide Russian readers with the Western scholarly gaze on Russian history, literature, culture, sociology, politics, and economics” and continue the legacy of Sovremennaya zapadnaya rusistika, a spiritual predecessor published throughout the 1990s.

Read about the project’s history here, or sign up for its newsletter here.


Twitter is perhaps not the best place to solicit a Quarantine Buddy (a penpal of sorts with whom you correspond during self-isolation), but yes, I am searching for one. Any leads appreciated, including those to other sites where I may find a Quarantine Buddy.

5 thoughts on “In review: March 2020

    1. There are no set rules to QB as far as I can tell. It arose as a spontaneous effort to help individuals get through self-isolation. All that is required is an internet connection, and the format is agreed upon by both participants.

      Methods of correspondence (usually 1):
      -video calls
      -online servers (ex. Discord)
      -letters (provided that the Post in both QBs countries of residence is working)

      -talking it out
      -collaborative writing/drawing
      -remote crafting
      -video games
      -online tabletop games
      -language learning
      -book club
      -random conversation

      This isn’t even a comprehensive list, just what I’ve seen or heard other people doing. The only limiting factor(s) are the imagination and means of the participants!


  1. An update regarding a translation opportunity I shared in a previous Monthly:

    The International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School at the University of East Anglia has cancelled its physical event. It is looking into hosting the summer school online.

    COVID-19 UPDATE – Although we have made the decision that we cannot run a physical Summer School this year, we are currently looking into whether we are able to run the 2020 BCLT Summer School as an online event! Therefore we are extending our application deadline to Monday 11th May 2020.

    Click here for more information


Join the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.