Lidija Dimkovska (born 1971 w Skopje) – Macedonian poet, essayist and translator
Studied Comparative Literature at the University of Skopje and took a Ph.D. degree in Romanian Literature at Bucharest University. Presently lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Works as a freelance writer, literary critic, and translator. Also editor of an online literary review, published in both Macedonian and English: www.blesok.com.mk
Dimkovska’s poems have been translated into over twenty languages around the world. Works include her debut poetic anthology Rożbi od Istok (The Offspring of the East),1992, published together with Boris Cavkoski, winner of the literary award for best poetry book debut; Nobel protiv Nobel (Nobel vs. Nobel), 2001, Meta-spanzurare de meta-tei (Meta-Hanging on Meta-Linden) and pH nutralna za żivotot i smrtta (pH Neutral For Life And Death) which came out in 2012. Dimkovska’s first novel Skriena kamera (Hidden camera) was recognised by Macedonia’s Writers Union as the best book of 2004.
Dimkovska translates Rumanian, Slovenian, and Macedonian literary works. In 2009 she received the European Hubert Burda Literary Prize awarded to poets from Central and Eastern Europe, and in 2012, she received Rumania’s International Tudor Arghezi Poetry Prize.
Edward Hirsch (born 1950) – American poet, essayist and literary critic.
A MacArthur Fellow, Hirsch has published The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which brings together 35 years of poetry from seven previous collections, including For the Sleepwalkers (1981), Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), and Special Orders (2008). He has also written four prose books, including How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national bestseller, and Poet’s Choice (2006). He edits the series “The Writer’s World” (Trinity University Press). He has edited Theodore Roethke’s Selected Poems (2005) and co-edited The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008). He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He taught in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston for 17 years and now serves as President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Wolfgang Matz (born 1955) – German translator, essayist, literary editor
Lecturer in German Language and Literature at Poitiers University, France, 1987-1995. Presently reader for Munich based publishers Hanser-Verlag. Author of numerous essays about French and German literature – including „Eine Kugel im Leibe. Walter Benjamin und Rudolf Borchardt: Judentumunddeutsche Poesie” [Bullet in his Body. Walter Benjamin and Rudolf Borchardt: Judaism and German Poetry] (2011), „1857 – Flaubert, Baudelaire, Stifter” (2007) – as well as of a biography of Adalbert Stifter. Prominent translator of French literature. Awarded the Paul Celan Prize and Petrarca Prize.
Jarosław Mikołajewski (born 1960) – Polish poet, essayist, translator, author of children’s books
Debuted in 1991 with a volume of poetry, A świadkiem śnieg, (Snow Witness), subsequent works include: Kołysanka dla ojca (A Lullaby for Father), Mój dom przestały nawiedzać duchy (When Spirits Ceased to Haunt My Home), Któraś rano (One Morning), Coś mnie zmartwiło, ale zapomniałem (Something Sad, Yet Forgotten). Recipient of the Warsaw Literary Prize (Nagroda Literacką m. st. Warszawy) in 2010 for his latest volume of poetry Zbite szklanki (Broken Tumblers). Recent publications include: Rzymską komedię (Roman Comedy), 2011, and Dziennik-przewodnik po Wiecznym Mieście (Journal & Guide Around the Eternal City).
Head of the Instytut Polski (Polish Institute) in Rome from 2006 to 2012. Amongst others, has translated Dante, Petrarca, Michelangelo, Leopardi, Montaleg, Ungaretti and Pasolini. Awarded the Premio Nazionale per la Traduzione, (National Translation Prize) Italy’s highest award for translators. Organiser of the three-day Zbigniew Herbert Festival in Sienna in 2008, which also included the unveiling of a special plaque commemorating the poet’s sojourn in the city.
Jaume Vallcorba Plana (1949-2014) – Spanish literary scholar, essayist and publisher
Doctor of Philosophy and Literature at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Lecturer and Professor of Literature at the University of Bordeaux, the University of Lleida, the University of Barcelona and the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) until 2004. He is a permanent member of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Catalonia and a scholar of medieval aesthetics and literature. Widely recognised publisher of works by numerous Spanish and Central European authors. Founded the Quaderns Crema publishing house in 1979 and Editorial Acantilado publishing house in 1999. Author of numerous articles on aesthetics, the artistic and literary avant-garde, medieval literature, and studies of numerous world literary masterpieces: Lectura de la Chanson de Roland (Reading The Song of Roland) Barcelona: Sirmio, 1989; Acantilado, 2010, Noucentisme, mediterraneisme i classicisme. Apunts per a la història d’una estètica (Noucentism, Mediterraneanism and Classicism. Notes on the History of Aesthetics) Barcelona: Quaderns Crema, 1994, and was directly commissioned by the poet J. V. Foix to publish his poetic oeuvre in 14 volumes. Has received numerous awards for his work. In 2005 was awarded Poland’s Gloria Artis Grand Order of Merit, for Contributions to Culture.
Agneta Pleijel (born 1940) – Swedish novelist, playwright, poet and essayist
A literary critic of many years standing and formerly Professor of Creative Writing at Stockholm’s University College Dramatic Institute. President of Sweden’s Pen Club from 1988 to 1990. Translates poetry, including Zbigniew Herbert’s, Raport z oblężonego miasta (Report From A Besieged City), 1985, into Swedish, together with Maciej Zaremba. A number of her novels have appeared in Poland including: Kto zważa na wiatr (Who Heeds the Wind), 1999, translated by Halina Thylwe, Zima w Sztokholmie (Winter In Stockholm), 2000, translated by Grażyna Wąsowicz-Ludvigsson, and Lord Nevermore, 2003, translated by Iwona Jędrzejewska, as well as an anthology Anioły ze snu (Angels From A Dream),1995 translated and adapted by Leszek Engelking.
Tomas Venclova (born 1937) – Lithuanian essayist, poet, translator and literary historian
An active member of the dissident movement, he lost his Soviet citizenship in 1977 and was forced to emigrate. At Yale University since 1980, presently Professor of Slavonic Languages and Literature. Collections of his essays have been published in Polish Niezniszczalny rytm (Indestrutable Rhythm), Opisać Wilno (A Picture of Wilno) and Z dzienników podróży (From My Travel Journals), as well as a collection of his poems Rozmowa w zimie (A Winter Dialogue). Author of Aleksander Wat’s biography and a compilation of essays on Czeslaw Milosz.
Translated poems into Lithuanian by T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Charles Baudelaire, Saint-John Perse, Borys Pasternack, Anna Achmatowa, Josif Brodski, as well as those by Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert and Wiesława Szymborska.
Andrzej Franaszek (born 1971) – Literary critic, essayist
Published works include: Ciemne źródło (Tenebrous Spring), Esej o cierpieniu w twórczości Zbigniewa Herberta (An Essay On Suffering in Zbigniew Herbert’s Work), 2nd edition 2008, Przepustka z piekła. 44 szkice o literaturze i przygodach duszy (Laisses-passer From Hell. 44 Sketches About Literature and Adventures of the Soul), 2010. A member of the Tygodnik Powszechny (Weekly General) editorial staff.