Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Popescu Prize 2009 Submissions

The Popescu Prize is awarded every two years for the best volume of European poetry translated into English. It is administered by the UK’s Poetry Society and sponsored by the Ratiu Family Foundation, established by former Romanian politician Ion Ratiu to promote Romanian culture abroad. It is named after Corneliu Popescu, a young translator from Romanian into English who was killed in an earthquake in March 1977.

86 titles of poetry have been submitted for this year’s prize from all around Europe, from Austria to Wales. Top of the list for translated poetry are France, Italy, Romania, Russia and Spain, but there’s also poetry translated from Basque and Galician (two of the four co-official languages of Spain), from Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg and Turkey. A rich and enticing list!

Most of the time we complain about how little literature is translated and published in English, but seeing a list of 86 titles of translated poetry published in the last two years makes one feel like celebrating for once what does get published.

This year’s prize is judged by Elaine Feinstein and Stephen Romer and the shortlist will be announced in September.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta takes on Hildegard von Bingen

At the Goethe Institute site there's an interview with the filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta discussing her new film "Vision", based on the life of the nun Hildegard von Bingen.

I don’t always select my subjects in a particularly conscious way - it often happens that I come across a subject or a person from the here and now or from the past and I am suddenly captivated, but it then just peters out or I forget all about it. This is often the case with love – you meet somebody for just a moment and then, when you see them 20 years later, you realise just how fateful the encounter was; only then does it turn into a real relationship. That is how it was with Hildegard von Bingen.

Hopefully we'll get an opportunity to see this film in the U.S.