Česká centra, Czech Centres

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8 Oct 2007 00:00 - 9 Oct 2007 00:00

Six Czech Poets

An opportunity to hear two of the Czech Republic's most exciting young poets, Petr Borkovec and Katerina Rudcenkova, read from a new publication, Six Czech Poets (to appear in November 2007), and from the acclaimed anthology of new European Verse, A Fine Line. Reading in Czech and English.


8 October, 1 pm

Manchester Central Library, Manchester M2


Admission free

Chaired by Alexandra Buchler


9 October, 6.30 pm

Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H


Admission free

Booking: 0207 307 5180 or info@czechcentre.org.uk


Six Czech Poets

Edited by Alexandra Büchler


Six Czech Poets is the third volume in the series of bilingual anthologies which brings the work of contemporary poets from Europe and beyond to a wider English-language readership, a series which aims to keep a finger on the here and now of international contemporary poetry.


The six poets whose work is included in this collection have become known to the wider Czech readership in the past ten to fifteen years, despite the fact that they belong to two very different generations: the generation exiled by the totalitarian regime of pre-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia - whether from public literary life or from the country itself - and the younger generation which started publishing in the late 1990s. Both were faced with the task of mending the broken continuity of Czech poetry, reclaiming the sources of its inspiration — whether it may be the subconscious and dreams, the undercurrents of human relationships, or closely observed everyday objects and situations which acquire a poetic and ontological significance — and, ultimately, with the task of restoring the very medium of poetic expression, language itself.



Kateřina Rudčenková was born in Prague in 1976. She is editor of the cultural internet magazine Dobrá adresa. Her first poetry book Ludwig was published to general acclaim in 1999. Her second, Není nutné, abyste me navštěvoval (No need for you to visit me, 2002) was followed by a collection of short stories Noci, noci (Nights, nights, 2004). Her latest book of poems is Popel a slast (Ashes and Pleasure, 2005). Her first theatre play has won her a residency at the Royal Court Theatre in London and will be staged in Prague in 2008. 






Mostly warm nights with windows open wide

are filled with cries and sobs.


Visitors are invisible through treetops.

This is where the year draws to an end.


A student who is a pedestrian in the street

and a drowning man at sea

becomes a tiny saint

in some family alcove.


There, the night has come. You’ll know me

by my footsteps and by the shape of my shadow.



Petr Borkovec was born in 1970. A prizewinnning author of six collections of poetry and translator, he is the editor of Rukopis (Manuscript) a journal on writing and translation. His poems have been translated into many languages, the collections Polni práce (Field Work) and Needlebook were published in German, and selected poems in Italian. Borkovec has translated Russian 20th century poetry and has collaborated on translations of contemporary Hunagrian poetry, classical Korean poetry and classical Greek drama Oidipus Rex and Oresteia. His selected poems in English translation by the poet Justin Quinn will be published in 2008 by Seren.





The window opens back against the curtains.

The narrow pendulum is at a standstill,

dark brown with gold behind undusted glass.

On the left, a stove. Upholstery on the chairs

is red, as is the quilt, as is the table

in the Last Supper, which hangs above the bed.

Old lipstick fills the dishes in the case,

in one a rosary is coiled in its own heat.


A picture shows the Blaníks in the spring:

a shaded angler can’t see the girl and dog

nearing the foot-bridge. A cupboard, a head on it,

hair-pieces, dust and clips. The television

with lacework almost breathing underneath

reflects a country road, the glint and flash

of sunlight and a spire. On the smeared black screen

all this takes on the colouring of ash.





30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


From: 8 Oct 2007 00:00
To: 9 Oct 2007 00:00


Manchester Literauture Festival, Foyles, Czech Centre

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