Current Merrill House Fellows

Damiano Abeni MD, MPH, is an epidemiologist who has been translating American poetry into Italian since 1973. In Italy, he has published volumes poetry by Bidart, Bishop, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, Strand, Simic, C.K. Williams, and many others. With Mark Strand, he edited West of your Cities, a bi-lingual anthology of contemporary American poets. His translations appear in numerous Italian journals and he is among the editors of the journal Nuovi Argomenti. To commemorate Abeni’s 40-year career as a translator, Edizioni l’Obliquo published Caos, Pendole, Cocomeri: 40 anni di collaborazioni. He has been a Literature Fellow at the Liguria Study Center of the Bogliasco Foundation, a Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Center, and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center.

Moira Egan’s books are Strange Botany/Botanica Arcana (peQuod, forthcoming 2014); Hot Flash Sonnets (Passager, 2013); Spin (Entasis, 2010); Bar Napkin Sonnets (winner of The Ledge Chapbook Competition, 2009); La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie (Edizioni l’Obliquo, 2009); and Cleave (WWPH, 2004); with Clarinda Harriss, she co-edited Hot Flash Sonnets (Entasis Press, 2011). Poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad, including Best American Poetry 2008; The Book of Forms; and Lofty Dogmas: Poets on Poetics. She has been a Mid Atlantic Arts Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Writer in Residence at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Malta; a Writing Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center; and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center.

In 2011, Damiano Abeni and Moira Egan were awarded the “Premio di Poesia–La Torre dell’Orologio” for Mark Strand’s L’uomo che cammina un passo avanti al buio (poesie 1964-2006). Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie scelte 1956-2007, a substantial selection of poems by John Ashbery (Sossella Editore, Rome, 2008) won a Special Prize from the Premio Napoli. Together they have published translations of works by Ashbery, Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Heti, and Josephine Tey. Their translations of American poems have appeared in numerous journals in Italy.


Future Merrill House Fellows

Ansel Elkins is the recipient of a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the 2012 North American Review James Hearst Poetry Prize, the 2012 Fugue Poetry Prize, the 2011 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, and was a 2012 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Poems recently appeared in AGNI, The Believer, Best New Poets 2011, Boston Review, The Daily Beast, Ecotone, Gulf Coast, The Southern Review, and others. New work is forthcoming in The American Scholar and Denver Quarterly. She lives in Greensboro, N.C.


Former Merrill House Fellows