Poetry Depot

July 27, 2013

Bringing poets and poetry toghether

Filed under: France, Indian, Scotish, Switzerland, Welsh — razvan @ 1:22 pm

Literature Across Frontiers gathered poets from all around the world in India, Turkey and Morocco (until now).
Alexandra Büchler from Literature Across Frontiers explains the concept: “they have to be able to give and take, to explain their work, but also to engage with the work of others”.

Arjun Bali (India)
Sampurna Chattarji (India)
Bill Herbert (Scotland)
Meena Kandasamy (India)
Robin Ngangom (India)
Roselyne Sibille (France)
Zoe Skoulding (Wales)
Raphael Urweider (Switzerland)

March 23, 2011

Ulf Stolterfoht, contemporary German poet

Filed under: German — razvan @ 7:31 pm

Ulf Stolterfoht has studied German literature and philology in Tübingen and Bochum.
Even before the publication of his debut volume in 1998, his poems already appeared in various journals and anthologies.
Winner of the PEN Award For Poetry In Translation, 2008
Lingos takes as its playground all the cultural baggage of our turn of the century and examines it with a mix of deconstruction, parody and sheer exuberance. The poems flaunt their intent to avoid linearity, prefabricated meaning and the lyrical I. Instead, they cultivate irony, punning, fragmenting, juxtaposing, distorting, and subject everything to an almost compulsive humor — the author and his own methods included.
Ulf Stolterfoht was born in 1963 in Stuttgart and now lives in Berlin with his wife and three children. His 3 books of poems are all called Fachsprachen [lingos, jargons, technical terms] and are all published by Urs Engeler Editor:

Fachsprachen I-IX (1998), Fachsprachen X-XVIII (2002), which received the Hans-Erich-Nossack-Förderpreis and the Christine Lavant-Preis respectively, and most recently, in 2004, Fachsprachen XIX-XXVII, for which he received the Anna-Seghers-Prize in 2005 and a stipendium to the German Academy in Rome.
From 2008 to 2009 he was professor at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
Stolterfoht lives in Berlin.
From Burning Deck.


what still remains of “songless” — “an earnest bird”

brings up. no earnest bird discusses what

seemed essentially the fact. he as it were cancels

himself out. you mentally shake your head. you nod.

you say i see. this must the essence of negation be.

and what’s confusing at a second glance:… NO X




HORSES (… carry you away) at a third holds

up and fast. no one horse holds so fast.

eleven horses or else nine: carry

you away. just as no ten. they hold you

fast. then let’s have at it at no zero

horses — to sidle/bridle up! a matter




(to remove last lingering doubts): not not to be

neglected. not to forget: forgotten. to

hunger. simply done. resolved: to cut

the bread. forgets. is now (the bread harder

and harder) to cut to be called to “saw”?

may your speech be yea yea / nay nay!




what’s likewise hard to clarify: if probably perhaps

exists. tendency: perhaps. probably not.

but here you quickly stand alone. and can’t help make

a stand for “nonsense absolute” as having making

sense some. unprofitable enterprise: not only not

to say not / to do un. but then its beauty too.



Other Poems can be read in the Fascicle.

March 16, 2011

ELISABETH RYNELL: Contemporary Swedish Poetry

Filed under: Sweden — razvan @ 1:47 am

ELISABETH RYNELL was born in 1954 in Stockholm. Her father was a professor of English and her mother a nurse. After completing the comprehensive school in and around the capital city, she worked as an au pair in London and later settled in the north of Sweden, in Lycksele. Ms. Rynell debuted with the poetry collection Lyrsvit m.m. med gnöl (Poetry Suite etc. with Grumbling, 1975). Her first novel, entitled Veta hut (For Shame, 1979) appeared in 1979. Nattliga samtal (NightConversations, 1990) contains both poems and prose pieces. A recurring theme in the volume is the grieving for a life companion hastily taken away. Her last book, the novel Hohaj (1997), set in Norrland, Sweden’s northern wilderness, has a rather mythical quality. Ms .Rynell’s writing is distinguished by a strong emotional intensity, openness and sensuality. Other works include the poetry volumes Onda dikter (Evil Poems, 1980), Sorgvingesång (Sorrow Winged Songs, 1985), Sjuk fågel (Sick Bird, 1988), and Öckenvandrare (Desert Wanderer, 1993), and the novel En berättelse om Loka (A Tale About Loka, 1990). (from Columbia edu)


Nocturnal Conversations

Something of light
I cannot describe
Maybe love’s hands
Your skin like a drink
I don’t know

I wake into the nightmare
and I walk inside it
It is real, material
and I walk and walk

You left your dead
body behind you

And we stood and looked at it

And we did not know
what we should do with it


translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser

(from Asymptote journal)

February 28, 2011

Polina Barskova: contemporary Russian poet

Filed under: Russian — razvan @ 3:37 am

Polina Barskova, Ph. D. was born in 1976 in Leningrad. She graduated at Berkeley, University of California. Barskova has published several collections of poetry, her first at the age of fifteen: Christmas (1991). Another four collections of poetry followed, A Squeamish Race (1993), Memory (1996), Evradei and Orfika and Arias. Candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures (Berkeley), she was awarded the Townsend Dissertation Writing Fellowship for 2005.06. The topic of her dissertation is Writing the End: Literature and Culture of the Aesthetic Opposition in Leningrad (1921.1934).

As a child she was recognized as a prodigy. She began publishing poems in journals at age nine and, sought out by a publishing house, released the first of her six books at the ripe old age of 15.

She came to the United States at 20, in order to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, after having already completed a degree in classical literature at St. Petersburg State University.

Three years ago Dr. Barskova joined the faculty of Hampshire College as assistant professor of Russian literature. Her classes are packed and teaching reviews by students achieve similar soaring acclaim as critics’ reviews of her writing. Under her influence students have formed the Hampshire Poetry Group, meeting monthly to read to each other. (from hampshire college)


Manuscript Found by Natasha Rostova During the Fire
I will try to live on earth without you.
I will try to live on earth without you.
I will become any object,
I don’t care what—
I will be this speeding train.
This smoke
or a beautiful gay man laughing in the front seat.
A human body is defenseless
on earth.
It’s a piece of fire-wood.
Ocean water hits it.
Lenin puts it on his official shoulder.
And therefore, in order not to suffer, a human spirit
inside the wind and inside the wood and inside the shoulder of a great dictator.
But I will not be water. I will not be a fire.
I will be an eyelash.
A sponge washing your neck-hairs.
Or a verb, an adjective, I will become. Such a word
slightly lights your cheek.
What happened? Nothing.
Something visited? Nothing.
What was there you cannot whisper.
No smoke without fire, they whisper.
I will be a handful of smoke
over this lost city of Moscow.
I will console any man,
I will sleep with any man,
under the army’s traveling horse carriages.

Published by Guernica in a translation by Ilya Kaminsky

An entire book of her poems translated can be read here.

January 1, 2011

Tomanz Salamun: Slovene Contemporary Poetry

Filed under: Slovenia — razvan @ 4:43 pm

Tomaž Šalamun has published more than thirty books of poetry in his home country of Slovenia and is recognized as one of the leading poets of Central Europe. His honors include the Prešeren Fund Prize, the Jenko Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a visiting Fulbright to Columbia University, and a fellowship to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.” from Blackbird
“In spring 2008 he was appointed as Visiting Professor in Creative Writing and Distinguished Writer in Residence by the University of Richmond. His next teaching position in the US will be the Spring Semester 2011 at the Michener’s Center MFA in Austin, Texas. He lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.” from blueflower arts


You lived too many lives. I didn’t hear
from you, you didn’t come. I remember your visit
some ten years later, during your broken (more...)

December 26, 2010

Anja Utler, contemporary German poetry

Filed under: German — Tags: , , , , — razvan @ 11:28 am

Anja Utler (1973) was born in Schwandorf, Germany. She studied Slavic languages and English. In 2003 she graduated in Russian lyric poetry from Regensburg and now lives as a free-lance poet in Vienna. Her most recent books of poetry were published under the titles münden – entzüngeln (mouthing – delinguation, 2004) and brinnen (2006). Among other prizes, she was awarded the Leonce-und-Lena-Preis (2003) and the Förderpreis der deutschen Schillerstiftung von 1859 prize (2006). (from Ars Poetica)

                    Articulation also occasionally occurs
                    [. . .] when inhaling (inverse sound).
                    Thus, for example, an inverse [f] is used
                    from time to time for the expression of a
                    sudden, mild pain.
                    R. Arnold / K. Hansen
much later is:
as if rattling as if: the breath got going and
along the edge capsules crackling, even cracking
the seeds they: spurt spray deeper, back
from the shoreline, across the land
before that:
tongue lining the gums with whispers
chirruping, trilling in the (. . .) in the heat
lost in haze – fresh-cut grass – it’s
whirring past – an echo – the wind

© 2003, Anja Utler
From: münden – entzüngeln
Publisher: Edition Korrespondenzen, Wien, Austria 2004
ISBN: 3-902113-33-2

© Translation: 2004, Tony Frazer
From: Mouth to Mouth. Contemporary German Poetry in Translation
Edited by Thomas Wohlfarth and Tobias Lehmkuhl.
Publisher: Giramondo Publishing Company: Newcastle, Australia 2004,

from Poetry International

December 19, 2010

Major Poetry Awards for 2010

Filed under: American, Bulgarian, Canadian, Irish, Italian, relational poetry, uk, Uncategorized — razvan @ 8:20 pm

All around the world there are a few awards for poetry that are a mark of quality of this art and manage to rise the public attention over contemporary poets, even when they are well established as authors in their own comunities.

One of the most important poetry awards in Italy is presented by City of Florence. This year the Carlo Betocchi Prize for poetry was awarded to Patrizia Valduga as she made her own the „crisis of modern lyrical language, managing to give it new literary dignity thanks to an inspired, and striking recovery of contaminated forms and meters of Italian most illustrious tradition.” (Pierfrancesco Listri)

Golden Wreath of Poetry for Struga Poetry Evenings festival was awarded to the Bulgarian author Lyubomir Levchev.

The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (United States) went to Rae Armantrout for Versed, “a book striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness, offering poems that are often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading.” as the jury described the collection: “What if there were a hidden pleasure/ in calling one thing/ by another’s name?//” quoted on Cati Poter blog (more…)

December 13, 2010

Tarkovsky and Bjork versions of a Romantic poem

Filed under: Russian — Tags: , , , , — razvan @ 7:07 pm

“Dull Flame of Desire” is a famous Russian poem by Fyodor Tyutchev. Some of us know it from Tarkovski’s “Stalker” finale. Tyutchev is “the third” great Russian poet. Dostoyevski seems to have considered him the best poet in Russia. This year was published the first bio of the poet in English. Two years ago the above mentioned poem, got another spectacular use.

This is how it looked in Russian in Tarkovsky’s movie

in English, Bjork used this version

Dull Flame Of Desire
I love your eyes, my dear
Their splendid sparkling fire
When suddenly you raise them so
To cast a swift embracing glance
Like lightning flashing in the sky
But there's a charm that is greater still
When my love's eyes are lowered
When all is fired by passion's kiss
And through the downcast lashes
I see the dull flame of desire


as you can see beneath:

Tony Curtis, Welsh contemporary poet

Filed under: Uncategorized, Welsh — Tags: , , , — razvan @ 6:36 pm

Tony Curtis is Professor of Poetry at the University of Glamorgan where he directs the M. Phil Writing course. In 2001 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a D. Litt in 2004.  He has toured extensively giving poetry readings and lectures and won the 1993 Dylan Thomas Award and a Cholmondeley Award in 1997. He lives in Barry, Wales. from contemporary writers

When Sometimes all I can Imagine are Hands

 There is a winter within me,
 a place so cold, so covered in snow,
 I rarely go there. But sometimes,
 when all I can imagine are hands,
 when trees in the forest
 look like they’re made of wood,
 then I know it’s time
 to take my photograph of Akhmatova
 and sling it in a bag with socks and scarves.
 My neighbours must think it strange
 to see me strapping on my snowshoes,
 to hear me roar at the huskies
 as I untangle the harness.
 But when all you can imagine are hands
 it’s best to give a little wave
 and move out into the whiteness.

from Inpress

And a video using one of his poems:


December 7, 2010

Johanna Venho, contemporary poetry from Finland

Filed under: Finland — Tags: , , , , , — razvan @ 6:11 pm


With a Italian introduction to her poetry http://www.larondine.fi/giornale/giano7.htm

With a Italian introduction to her poetry http://www.larondine.fi/giornale/giano7.htm

Born in 1971, Johanna Venho lives in Espoo, Finland. She studied comparative literature and biology at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä and graduated in Irish poetry from Helsinki. She has tried her hand at numerous occupations, among which was working as an editor in a broadcasting company, Yleisradio. A former editor-in-chief for Tuli&Savu poetry journal, she is now a full time writer. She has published four collections of poetry, five novels for children and a collection of nursery rhymes. She has won numerous prizes and grants, for example the Kritiikin kannukset Prize for the best literary debut of 2000, Arvid Lydecken Prize for the best children’s book of 2003, Katri Vala prize of 2006 for the collection Yhtä juhlaa and Einari Vuorela Poetry Prize for the best collection of poems of 2008 (for the book Yhtä juhlaa). from The Golden Boat

When we are on the edge of the incomprehensible
we don’t talk logically and our talk
is as clear as well water. Light mumbles, signals.
I tell him: in the moss you can
wander and dream, pop into a house
to grow old, become tender.
rope woven of black and of white,
how much can you carry without breaking your back?
Light wraps his arms around my neck,
his mouth is at my ear, the midsummer rose bursts
into blossom and there is mist in the meadow,
an old woman picks seven flowers,
to grow old and soft. Rope woven and garland woven
of black and of white, dance me, fly me, it’s soon over.
Light brings tears to my eyes, the flower revives
in the well water, the coldest, deepest: loveys,
children, just one moment more, give me a little push,
swing-out, swing-back, on the edge of the well,
wrap your arms around my neck.
(Translated by Johanna Venho & Kelly Lenox)
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