Following a series of online encounters during which they explored each other’s work through translation, the six Czech and Scottish poets participating in this project met in Glasgow and Edinburgh where they appeared at the University of Glasgow and the international poetry festival Push the Boat Out. Now they meet again, this time in Prague, where they hold a debate and reading at the Václav Havel Library and at Charles University.
With Czech poets Jitka Bret Srbová, Ondřej Lipár and Olga Stehlíková and their Scottish counterparts Rob A Mackenzie, Niall O’Gallagher and Alycia Pirmohamed.
5th November, 19:00 – 21:00
Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 129/13, 110 00 Nové Město
Poetry Today: Why Write, Read and Translate It?
Discussion and reading featuring six Czech and Scottish poets. After a year of online meetings within the project Czech Scottish Poetry Connections, where they discussed their work and translated one another, they will meet face to face and discuss outwardly simple questions about the role of poetry: personal, social and political. Jitka Bret-Srbová, Ondřej Lipár, Rob Mackenzie, Niall O’Gallagher, Alycia Pirmohamed and Olina Stehlíková will debate and read. Moderated by Alexandra Büchler. In English with Czech simultaneous interpreting.
16th November 2022, 14:15 – 15:45
Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Charles University, Faculty of Arts, Room 111, nám. Jana Palacha 1/2, 116 38 Prague 1
Six Czech and Scottish poets talk about discovering each other’s work and literary scenes through translation into Czech, Gaelic and English. With Jitka Bret Srbová, Ondřej Lipár, Rob A Mackenzie, Niall O’Gallagher, Olga Stehlíková and Alycia Pirmohamed. The event is presented by Alexandra Büchler and Petra Johana Poncarová.
Jitka Bret Srbová (1976) is a poet and journalist. From 2006 to 2011 she was the editor-in-chief of the online literary almanac Wagon. She currently contributes to the fortnightly literary journal Tvar. She has published the poetry collections Někdo se loudá po psím (Someone is Hanging Around like a Dog, 2011), Světlo vprostřed těla (The Light in the Centre of the Body, 2013), Les (Forest, 2016) and Svět: (The World:, 2019). Her work has been translated into a number of European languages including a collection published in German. She is currently President of the Czech Writers’ Association and lives in Hořovice, a town half-way between Prague and Plzeň.
Ondřej Lipár is a poet, journalist, and photographer. He has published two books of poetry, Skořápky (Nutshells, 2004) and Komponent (Component, 2014). For more than a decade he has been cooperating with the leading Czech literary publisher Éditions Fra. He was chair of the Czech Writers’ Association between 2019 and 2021, and he currently works as Managing Editor of the Czech Vogue.
Rob A. Mackenzie is from Glasgow and lives in Leith. He is reviews editor for Magma Poetry magazine and has co-edited the magazine on four occasions. He runs literary publishing house, Blue Diode Press. He has had three full collections published, The Opposite of Cabbage (2009) The Good News (2013) and The Book of Revelation (2020), and two pamphlets, The Clown of Natural Sorrow (2005) and Fleck & the Bank (2012). His poems, reviews and articles have appeared in The Dark Horse, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Shearsman and various other magazines and anthologies. His work has been featured three times in the Scottish Poetry Library’s annual list of 20 Best Scottish Poems .
Niall O’Gallagher is a Gaelic poet. He was born on the west coast of Scotland in 1981 and educated at the University of Glasgow. A BBC journalist, he has worked as a correspondent in Edinburgh and London and reported on European affairs for Eòrpa, From Our Own Correspondent and Our World. He is the author of three poetry collections with Clàr, most recently Fo Bhlàth (‘Flourishing’), shortlisted for the Derick Thomson Prize for Gaelic poetry book of the year in 2021. Often a love poet, his work is characterised by an interest in poetic form, whether the strict metres of formal Gaelic poetry or structures inherited from the European tradition. His poems have been translated into English, Irish, Occitan and Welsh. His Selected Poems, with facing English translations by Peter Mackay and Deborah Moffatt, are published by Francis Boutle of London in 2022. He lives in Ayrshire, Scotland, with his wife and their two children.
Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet living in Scotland. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Hinge (ignitionpress) and Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press.) Second Memory, a creative non-fiction piece co-authored with Pratyusha, was co-published with Baseline Press (Canada) and Guillemot Press (UK). Alycia was the winner of the 2020 Pamet River Prize and her debut poetry collection, Another Way to Split Water was published in 2022 by YesYes Books (US) and Polygon Books (UK). Alycia is co-founder of the Scottish BAME Writers Network, co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Programme, and a Junior Anniversary Fellow at IASH via the University of Edinburgh. In 2020, Alycia won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Find her online at alycia-pirmohamed.com and on twitter @a_pirmohamed.
Olga Stehlíková works as a freelance writer, editor and critic with a focus on contemporary Czech literature. She has founded the Ravt on-line magazine (www.itvar.cz/ravt), she moderates literary programmes in Czech Broadcasting and works as book editor. She has put together dozens of books of poetry and prose for various Czech publishing houses and her poetry has appeared in many Czech and foreign literary magazines. Her debut collection Týdny (Weeks, 2014) won the Magnesia Litera Book Prize for poetry. Her second collection Vejce/Eggs (Couplets), was released in a unique arrangement in November 2017, along with an LP with Tomas Braun’s music. Her third book of poetry was Vykřičník jak stožár (Exclamation Mark High as a Pole, 2018). and her latest is Zpěv Sirén (Siren song, 2022). Her poems have been translated into ten languages.
The project is organised by Literature Across Frontiers and Culture Reset in cooperation with Festival Den Poezie, and supported by the Edwin Morgan Trust, Creative Scotland and Czech Literary Centre. More information here.