Mila Haugová

Mila Haugová c_David Koronczy

Mila Haugová (born in 1942 in Budapest) lives in Bratislava and Levice. her poetry is always allusive. Nature, eroticism, memory and loss are inseparably interwoven in poems which are like “semi- / transparent membranes”, fragile and full of power at the same time. Between the lines of her poems lurk references to such writers as Ingeborg Bachmann, Sylvia Plath, Friederike Mayröcker, Paul Celan and Georg Trakl.
The daughter of a Hungarian mother and a Slovakian father, Haugová grew up bilingual and was one of the first women writers to gain attention with feminist poems in the Czechoslovakia of the 1980s.
Haugová’s father was an agronomist and was jailed as a class enemy, which meant that Haugová was not permitted to study Slovakian Language and Literature and German. Instead she studied Agriculture from 1959 to 1964, subsequently working as an agronomist, then as a teacher. In 1968 she emigrated to Canada, returning after one year. From 1986 to 1996 Haugová worked in the editorial section of the literary journal Romboid.
Haugová started writing poems in the early 1970s and published the first of them in 1980 under the pseudonym Mila Srnková. She sees her collection Premenlivý povrch (Changeable Surface, 1983) as her real debut. She achieved a breakthrough with Èisté dni (Pure Days, 1990). Since then she has published nearly twenty collections of verse in Slovakian which have been translated into English, French, Polish, Russian and German and translations from German, English and Hungarian.

Publications (in English):
Scent of the Unseen, translated by James and Vera Sutherland-Smith, with an introduction by Fiona Sampson (Arc Publications, 2003)