The European Poet of Freedom Festival starts in Gdańsk today. The poet’s award is 100,000 złoty (about 24,000 euros), and their translator into Polish wins a tenth of that. Seven nominees, from Kazakhstan to Estonia, face some very sharp judges including Agnieszka Holland and Anda Rottenberg. I couldn’t possibly influence their decision, but on an arbitrary feminist basis:
Two of the seven nominees are women, both for 2011 collections which have been translated into Polish, but are not yet available in English.
Iren Baumann (Switzerland) was nominated for Noch während die Pendler heimfahren / dojeżdżający są jeszcze w drodze do domu (When the Commuters Are Still Coming Home) translated into Polish by Ryszard Wojnakowski. She is very elusive online and only seems to have one poem published in an English-language anthology.
Dorta Jagić (Croatia) gets my vote. She was nominated for Kauč na trgu / Kanapa na rynku (Couch in the Market), translated into Polish by Małgorzata Wierzbicka. You can find some of her poems in the original with English translations by Miloš Đurđević online, like this one:
where did you get that pebble in your belly you can fly with?
for that pebble I fell in love with you.
winters and summers you are driving to work
with your long hair loose from its bun
and in the spring you’ll stop and sway on the place
where the sorrel stalk was broken.
and you are doing nothing at all;
just looking like a river air larva.
in those days I dream that I’m wrapping your face with a wedding veil
and cuddling you with the breathing feather, or
with my bare feet I am turning the handle of
the old-fashioned coffee grinder
and kissing you, kissing until I’ve ground all those black beads
into fragrant dust
© 2003, Dorta Jagić, From: Đavo i usidjelica: AGM, Zagreb, 2003. © Translation: 2004, Miloš Đurđević
And she won! Article in Polish: m.wyborcza.pl/wyborcza/1,105226,15666708,Dorta_Jagic_z_Chorwacji_Europejskim_Poeta_Wolnosci.html
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