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Professor, Translator of Poetry to Be Honored at Ceremony

Dr. Alexis LevitinPLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Nov. 29, 2010) – A Dec. 6 ceremony will honor SUNY Plattsburgh’s latest distinguished professor.Held in Feinberg Library at 4 p.m., the ceremony will pay tribute to Dr. Alexis Levitin, the second SUNY Plattsburgh professor to receive the State University of New York’s very highest honor. (The first was Dr. Mark Cohen, a SUNY Distinguished professor who has been credited for changing the way scientists think about civilization.)

The ceremony will feature the unveiling of Levitin’s portrait, which will later be placed among those of all the faculty members who have received distinguished teaching and service professorships or the distinguished professorship.

Levitin is known for his translations of Portuguese poetry into English. In fact, BiblioBuffet called him “one of the most respected — if not the most respected — English-language translator of Portuguese and Brazilian literature, as well as literature from Ecuador.”

Olivia Sears, the founder and president of the Center for the Art of Translation, said he is “recognized by most magazine and book publishers as the foremost living translator of contemporary Portuguese poetry.”

Levitin’s work has resulted in 30 books, and his translations have appeared in more than 30 anthologies and hundreds of magazines and journals — including the American Poetry Review, Grand Street, Kenyon Review, the New England Review and the Partisan Review.

He has presented his work around world – in places like Paris, Prague, Toronto, Montreal, Brazil and Portugal. He has also lectured extensively at close to 100 colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of Michigan.

Levitin is the recipient of a number of fellowships, grants and awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and two Fulbright Senior Lecturer Awards.

Levitin joined the SUNY Plattsburgh faculty in 1982, becoming an associate professor in 1986 and a full professor in 1989. He holds a B.A. in zoology, an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English – all from Columbia University.

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