With Stephen D. Miller, associate professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Patrick Donnelly translates classical Japanese poetry and drama. 141 of their translations of waka (31-syllable Japanese poems) with Buddhist themes are a part of a book of Professor Miller’s scholarship, The Wind from Vulture Peak: The Buddhification of Japanese Waka in the Heian Period (Cornell East Asia Series, 2013). In 2015, the Vulture Peak translations were awarded the Japan U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for Literary Translation, from the Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture at Columbia University. Donnelly and Miller’s translations also have appeared in Bateau, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Circumference, The Drunken Boat, eXchanges, Inquiring Mind, Kyoto Journal, MEAD, Metamorphoses, New Haven Review, New Plains Review, NOON: The Journal of the Short Poem, Poetry International, Transference, Tupelo Quarterly, Zone 3, and Like Clouds or Mists: Studies and Translations of Nō Plays of the Genpei War. Donnelly has taught exercises in literary translation at Colby College and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. In 2014, he spent three months in Japan, as recipient of a U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program award.
“The Wind from Vulture Peak is compelling reading. The translations of waka which are given close readings are nothing short of breathtaking. They set a new standard for translation of Japanese classical poetry, conveying, as they do, not only the semantic content (i.e., they are "accurate") but also the compelling poetry of the poems. This in itself is an enormous contribution to the field and should inaugurate a new era in the translation of classical Japanese poetry.”
—Laurel Rasplica Rodd, translator of Kokinshū: A Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern and Shinkokinshū: A New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern