Last year in June, I was in Canada where I met the Slovak translator Lucia Duero at the Banff Literary Translation Centre at the Banff Centre for the Arts. We began talking about contemporary Slovak poetry and I immediately wanted to make more of this work available for English language readers. The result is this folio of work. Lucia selected poets and translators and sent me work to consider. Together we selected which poems to include. The title we chose, “Fragments of the vanishing speech,” comes from Mila Haugova’s poem “Fragments of the Vanishing Speech of Childhood Terror,” translated by James Sutherland-Smith.
As we considered all the work Lucia had gathered, we decided to present it in two parts. This first installment features five poets, Mária Ferenčuhová, Ján Gavura, Mila Haugová, Eva Luka, and Dana Podracká whose work displays the wide range of contemporary Slovak poetry. There is also an interview with Lucia about Slovak poetry and translation. The second installment will run in the next issue with even more of this marvelous work!
Jesse Lee Kercheval
An Interview with Slovak writer and translator Lucia Duero about Fragments of the vanishing speech: Contemporary Slovak Poetry