Jean-Baptiste Cabaud (born 1970 in Chambéry, France) worked as a graphic artist for ten years before devoting himself fully to poetry. His first collection, Les Mécaniques, came out in 2008. He regularly performs his poems on stage, either alone or with his electronic band Saint Octobre. The group’s poetic music, together with the video art of Derviches Associés is used for short films that are shown at international poetry film festivals. In 2007 Jean-Baptiste Cabaud published a children’s book and he regularly gives writing workshops in schools and libraries.
Publications: Le Petit Inconnu au Ballon (Éditions Le Baron Perché 2007) Les Mécaniques (À Plus d’un Titre éditions 2008) Le Coeur du Monde Extraordinaire (poetic writing workshop with 600 children from Saint-Étienne, France) (Saint-Étienne 2011)
Svetlana Cârstean (born 1969 in Botosani, Romania) studied Romanian and French literature and is part of the group around Mircea Cărtărescu, one of Romania’s most significant proponents of postmodernism. She founded the literary circle Central. She has worked as a freelance journalist for press and televisions and had edited various magazines and anthologies. Her highly emotional and playful poems have brought her much attention at home and abroad as well as prizes and fellowships. Her first book, Floarea de menghină [The Vice Flower] was presented at the Bucharest Book Fair in June 2008 and was awarded the Poetry Debut Prize of the Romanian Writers‘ Association, the Mihai Eminescu National Prize, the Debut Prize of the magazine România literară and the Poetry Prize of Radio Romania Culture. Svetlana Cârstean lives and works in Bucharest, where she teaches French and is currently working on three long poems.
Publications: Tablou de familie (Ed. Leka-Brîncus1995) Floarea de menghina (Ed. Cartea Româneasca 2008)
Following her degree in French, Claudia Gauci (born 1976 in Tas-Sliema, Malta) first spent several years working as a languages teacher. In 2008 she moved to Luxembourg to work for the European Commission. She now lives back in her home country, Malta, working as a translator and publisher’s reader. She writes poetry and prose and her first poetry collection is forthcoming in 2012. Her texts have previously appeared in various Maltese anthologies. There is a selection of her poems in English translation in the online edition of The Drunken Boat (http://www.thedrunkenboat.com/gauci.html). Since 2002 she has been a member of the NGO Inizjamed, for which she organises workshops with both Romanian and foreign writers.
Georgi Gospodinov (born 1968 in Yambol, Bulgaria) is one of the most translated Bulgarian writers in the post-1989 period. He lives and works in Sofia, writing a regular column for the Bulgarian daily newspaper Dnevnik and editing a literary journal. He has published four volumes of verse and won various literary prizes in Bulgaria. A selection of his poems has been published in German translation in Kleines morgendliches Verbrechen. Gospodinov became internationally known in 1999 primarily for his idiosyncratic, experimental novel Estestven roman (Natural Novel), which has been translated English and German. In 2008 and 2009 Gospodinov was a guest writer in the DAAD Artists in Berlin programme. As well as writing poetry and prose, he is also a successful scriptwiter and playwright.
Publications (selection): Лапидариум (Lapidarium) (Modus Stojanov 1992) Чарешата на един народ/Čerešata na edin narod (The Cherry Tree of a People) (Svobodno poetichesko obshtestvo 1996) Естествен роман/ Estestven roman (Natural Novel) (Izd. Kasta Zanet-45 1999) И други истории/I drugi istorii (And other Stories) (Izd. Kasta Zanet-45 2001) Писма до Гаустин/Pisma do Gaustin (Letters to Gaustin) (Izd. Kasta Zanet-45 2003) Балади и разпади/Baladi i razpadi (Ballads and Maladies) (Izd. Kasta Zanet-45 2007)
Jen Hadfield (born 1978 in Cheshire, England) is the youngest winner ever of the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize, which she was awarded in 2008 for her second collection, Nigh-No-Place when she was just 30. Her poems deal primarily with space, home and the environment, with her passion for the culture of the Shetland Islands, where she lives, having a strong influence on her work, perhaps unsurprisingly since she decided to live in such a solitary and remote place. Jen Hadfield is nevertheless always open to new influences and posts on the the blog http://rogueseeds.blogspot.com. She is currently working on her first novel and is also active in promoting reading and writing for the new creative generation.
Publications: Almanacs (Bloodaxe 2005) The Printer's Devil & The Little Bear (Redlake Press/Rogue Seeds 2006) Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe 2008)
Jonáš Hájek (born 1984 in Prague, Czech Republic) regularly publishes poems in poetry magazines and literary journals, including Lichtungen, Hebenon and Odra. He has brought out two poetry collections and received the Jiří Orten Prize in 2007 for his debut Sut. This is a prize awarded by the City of Prague and the publisher Mladá Fronta to excellent writers and poets under thirty. Jonáš Hájek is also a translator, and has translated Günter Eich’s post-war collection Abgelegene Gehöfte into Czech. As well as poetry, he is involved with music, having studied music in Prague; he plays cello and works as a musican.
Publications: Suť (Debris) (Fra 2007) Vlastivěda (Homeland Study) (Fra 2010)
Maarja Kangro (born 1973 in Tallinn, Estonia) lives in Tallinn, where she was born, and works as a writer, translator and literary critic. Her publications include four volumes of verse, short stories and a children’s book and she has written opera libretti and texts for cantatas. In 2009 she was awarded the Estonian Cultural Endowment`s Literary Award for poetry and the same prize for prose in 2011, thus becoming the youngest person to win in both categories. Her poetry is ironic and surprising, and she is able to draw a perfect image thus making bizarre phenomena appear unexpectedly familiar. Maarja Kangro also translates poetry (Ernst Jandl, Bertolt Brecht and Hans Magnus Enzensberger), philosophical texts (Umberto Eco) and prose. In 2003 she won first prize in the Società Dante Alighieri competition for translating Italian poetry.
Publications (selection): Kurat õrnal lumel (A Devil on Tender Snow) (Verb 2006) Tule mu koopasse, mateeria (Come into My Cave, Matter) (Eesti Keele Sihtasutus 2007) Heureka (Eureka) (Eesti Keele Sihtasutus 2008) La farfalla dell’irreversibilità (The Butterfly of No Return) (Gattomerlino/Superstripes 2011)
Gabrielė Labanauskaitė (born 1980 in Klaipeda, Lithuania) is a writer and book critic and also works at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy as a lecturer in Drama. Her plays The One that hurts the most, Circus and In-fucked have received many awards and have been performed in Finland, Sweden and the UK. Gabrielė Labanauskaitė’s art encompasses poetry, song and performance. She has released several CDs and DVDs with the collective A Vaspo, which transforms her texts into an atmospheric weave of sounds, combining electronic and experimental acoustic elements. Since 2006, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė has been organising Lithuania’s annual and only audio-visual poetry festival, the Tarpfest.
Publications: Apelsinai aikštėj apgriuvusioj (Oranges on a Wretched Square) (2004) Poetry, music and video collaboration Avaspo (Audiovisual Asp of Poetry) (2009)
Filipa Leal (born 1979 in Porto, Portugal) studied journalism in London and Brazilian and Portuguese literature in Porto. Since then she has worked as a poet and journalist in Portugal. She published four books of verse between 2004 and 2009. Her poems are natural and uncontrived, describing apparently everyday things such as trees, houses, books and words, light and shade, days and nights. Fellow Portuguese poet Jorge Sousa Braga has said of her verse, “Filipa Leal constructs her poems as carefully as spiders’ webs, and her readers fall into them like flies.”
Publications: Talvez os Lírios Compreendam (Perhaps the Lilies Understand) (Fundação Ciência e Desenvolvimento 2004) A Cicade líquida e Outras Texturas (The Liquid City and Other Textures) (Deriva Editores 2006) O Problema de ser Norte (The Problem of Being North) ( Deriva Editores 2008) A Inexistência de Eva (The Non-Existence of Eve) (Deriva Editores 2009)
Luigi Nacci (born 1978 in Trieste, Italy) is a poet and performer and has published five books of verse in the past few years. He works as a journalist, performs at poetry slams and readings and organises various festivals. He is involved with cultural events in his home city of Trieste, organises the annual Absolute Poetry Festival in Monfalcone and is co-organiser of the Viandanza Festival in Tuscany. He writes on his blog www.nacciluigi.wordpress.com with the title Poetry, walks and other little things about his love of walking, about events and experiences, and published samples of his poems, some with English and German translations. Publications: Il poema marino di Eszter (Battello 2005) Poema disumano (Ed. Michelangelo 2006) Inter nos/SS (Ed. Galleria Mazzoli 2007) Madrigale Odessa (D’If 2008)
Edward O'Dwyer (born 1984 in Limerick, Ireland) is a poet and is stusying communication science. His poetry has been published mainly in literary magazines and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, North America and Australia. His first collection, Oboe, was published in 2007, with his second, A Love Poem Mostly For You due this year. His poem ‘Only by Chance’ was nominated for the 2012 Hennessy Literary Award.
Publications: Oboe (Revival Press 2007)
Josep Pedrals (born 1970 in Barcelona, Catalonia/Spain) is a poet and musician. Before he started performing his poems on stage in 1997, he had been working as a bookseller. A sound poet, he had his first commission on the radio as a filler, providing charming nonsense rhymes to order. Josep Pedrals writes humorous verse which constantly shifts between quiet, sensuous and expressive passages. His performances are somewhere between Dada and jam sessions. In 2009 he was the winner of the Osaka Poetry Slam, organised by the Osake Goethe Institute. Until 2004 he played keyboards for the band Explosion Bikini. At the moment he is the leader of the ironic pop group Els Nens Eutròfics, in which he is the vocalist and songwriter and plays clarinet. He also writes stage plays and gives poetry curses for adults and children.
Publications (selection): Els buits enutjosos (Assoc. Cult. Container 1999) Eclosions (labreu edicions 2005) En l’Ai, adéu! (Cafè Central 2006) El romanço d’Anna Tirant (labreu edicions 2012)
Ester Naomi Perquin
Ester Naomi Perquin (born 1980 in Utrecht, The Netherlands) grew up in the Dutch province of Zeeland. She worked as a prison warder to pay her way through university in Amsterdam. She has spent the last ten years living in Rotterdam and working as a writer, holding the office of City Scribe for 2012. She has received many awards for her work in the Netherlands in the past few years, including the 2007 Liegend Konijn Prize for the best first collection, the 2010 Anna Blaman Prize and the 2011 J.C. Bloem Poetry Prize. For one award, one of her poems was translated into the 23 official languages of the European Union.
Publications: Servetten halfstok, (Oorschot B.V. 2007) Namens de ander (Oorschot B.V. 2009) Celinspecties (Oorschot B.V 2012)
Gregor Podlogar (born 1974 in Ljubljana, Slovenia) studied philosophy and has published two books of verse to date. In 2003 he created an experimental book about New York City with a painter and a poet. Gregor Podlogar lives in his birthplace, Ljubljana, presents cultural broadcasts on the radio and occasionally performs as a DJ. He also translates contemporary American poetry (C. Hawkey, L. Solomon, P. Killebrew, A. Berrigan) and is the editor of the Slovenian edition of lyrikline.org.
Publications: Naselitve (States) (Aleph Press 1997) Vrtoglavica zanosa (Joy in Vertigo) (Aleph Press 2002) Milijon sekund blize (A Million Seconds closer) (Sherpa Press 2006) Vesela nova ušesa (Happy New Ears) (Sherpa Press 2010)
Marko Pogačar (born 1984 in Split, Croatia) studied history and comparative literature in Zagreb. He translates from English and American and is the editor-in-chief of Ka/Os journal for literature. Three books of his verse have appeared since 2005, Pijavice nad Santa Cruzom, Poslanice obicnim ljudima and Predmeti. His poems shift deliberately between the need to break with traditional values and notions and doubt as to whether change is at all possible. Marko Pogačar won the Quirinus Annual Award for the best poetry debut in 2006 and has received a fellowship from the Brandenburg Gate Foundation for the Literary Tandem series of talks with Berlin writer and publisher Daniela Seel.
Publications: Pijavice nad Santa Cruzom, AGM, Zagreb, 2006 Poslanice običnim ljudima, Algoritam, Zagreb, 2007
Olga Ravn (born 1986 in Kopenhagen, Denmark) lives in Kopenhagen where she works as a poet and literary critic. Her first collection, the highly-praised Jeg æder mig selv som lyng (I devour myself like heather) was published in early 2012. This collection is primarily concerned with growing up, with the physical feelings involved, the expectations of others around one, with urgent love, sex and forbidden things. These topics are dealt with raw openness and nevertheless sensitivity in carefully constructed forms. Olga Ravn also works as an illustrator.
Publications: Jeg æder mig selv som lyng (Gyldendal 2012) http://olga-ravn.blogspot.de/
Tom Reisen (born 1971 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg) studied Romance Studies at the University of Caen, where he then took his doctorate in 2001 after a research residence in Paris. From 2004 to 2008 he edited the Tageblatt, Luxembourg’s second-biggest daily newspaper, which is published in German and French, from 2006 as its deputy editor-in-chief. He now works for the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry. Tom Reisen’s first book of verse, Dialogue des limbes, includes poems written between 1987 and 1992. In 2000 this won him the special jury prize in the Concours Littéraire National. His poems deal with childhood memories and literary motifs from French modernism. Reisen also publishes scholarly articles and articles on French literature and Luxembourg cultural life. His field of research is André Gide and the group of writers in the Nouvelle revue française.
Publications: Dialogue des limbes. Poèmes (Editions PHI/Editpress 2001) Comme une Promesse (Verlag 2004) Été (Verlag 2011)
Harry Salmenniemi (born 1983 in Jyväskylä, Finland) is treated as a promising young poet to watch in Finland. His publications to date include two books of verse and a novel. He is primarily interested in experimental poetry, naming his main influences as Flarf poetry and the Oulipo group, whose aim is to extend language via formal restraints. In the past few years Harry Salmenniemi has also been working as the editor of Finland’s biggest poetry magazine, Tuli & Savu and working on various creative projects with artists, musicians and circus artistes. Having lived for long periods in Rome and Melbourne, he has developed an aversion to the Finnish winter and hopes to be able to return to Italy soon.
In 2013, Katharina Schultens (born 1980, Kirchen/Sieg) was awarded the Leonce-und-Lena Prize for the “courageous and innovative way” in which she “takes a core piece of the contemporary world into consideration, and into language: the subject thrown under the wheels of the financial system”. Schulten’s poems continually permeate specialised languages, which she represents by weaving them into new complexity. Thus the poet takes on biology or corporate finance and speculation in her last book of poems, “gorgos portfolio” which moves from the figure of Medusa in Greek Mythology to the contemporary working conditions of women.
Schultens has been working at the Humboldt University since 2006, becoming the Manager of the School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof there in 2012, studied Cultural Studies in Hildesheim, St Louis and Bologna. Since 1998 she has been publishing her poetry in magazines and anthologies. Most recently, she won second prize in the lauter niemand prize for political poetry IV, 2014.
Martin Solotruk (born 1970 in Bratislava, Slovakia) has published four books of verse in all and his poems have appeared in various anthologies (including New European Poets and Poesie in Europa). In 1997 his first collection Tiché vojny (Silent Wars) won him the Slovak Literary Fund Award. Solotruk is the poet of everyday things, of the conventional and unassuming. It is precisely in the microstructures that inaccessible truths are reflected that are hard to grasp. He has a doctorate in translation studies, and previously worked in advertising and television. He now teaches at the University of Bratislava. He translates poetry and plays by Samuel Beckett, Charles Simic, John Ashbery and Ted Hughes. For his translation of Ted Hughes’ Crow he won the 2007 prize for the best artistic translation.
Publications (selection): Tiché vojny (Silent Wars) (Drewo a srd 1997) Mletie (Wind-milling) (Drewo a srd 2001) Lovestory: Agens apaciens (Ars Poetica 2007)
Sotos Stavrakis (born 1973 in Nicosia, Cyprus) is a trained actor who in 2012 completed a theatre directors’ course in London. Since then he has been working on various theatre and film productions in Cyprus and Greece. Together with his wife, artist Lia Boyatzi, he opened the art space Kat`oikon in Nicosia, where regular exhibitions, performances and other cultural events take place. His first collection of verse, Anaporeia, was published in 2003. Sotos Stavrakis has also translated the one-act play Blackbird by David Harrower into Greek and put it on in his home country in 2010. Stavrakis also works as a dubbing actor for television.
Publications: Anaporeia (Verlag 2003)
Yannis Stiggas (born 1977 in Athens, Greece) has published three collections of verse and his poems have also appeared in many magazines and anthologies. In 2007 he performed in the intothepill project in the Karaoke Poetry Bar in Athens. His poems impress with the power of their imagery and language. By opposing the internal and the external view, and abstract and sensual observations, his texts hover on the margins of perception.
Publications: The Way to the Kiosk (Mikri Arktos 2012), Poetry collection with German translations: Edition Poesiefestival Berlin (hochroth Verlag 2010) (unfortunately out of print)
Christoph Szalay (born 1987 in Graz, Austria) first attracted attention as a professional sportsman in the Nordic combined event in Austria. In 2007 he swapped his career as a skiier for a degree in German Studies in Graz. The 25-year-old lives and writes there and in his house in the Ennstal. He attracted public attention with his first book of poems, stadt / land / fluss, which was published by Leykam in 2009, and in which Christoph Szalay manages the balancing act between reflective urban and nature poetry on the one hand and playfully ironic procedures on the other. It brought his the literary promotion prize of the City of Graz and, in 2011, a START fellowship from the Austrian Culture Ministry.
Publications: stadt / land / fluss. Gedichte (Leykam 2009) flimmern. Gedichte (Leykam 2012)
Gwenaëlle Stubbe (born 1972 in Brussels, Belgium) is a poet and performer. She takes part in various radio programmes and does readings in both French and Flemish. Her poems are like little stories starting in day-to-day things and quickly drifting into the surreal. She describes her own texts, which are often about men, as “a small revenge on one half of humanity”. On stage she is a lively performer whose voice, poise and movements accentuate the music of her language. Gwenaëlle Stubbe has lived in France since 2002.
Publications: Un surpent de fumée (éditions la Pierre d’Alun 1999) Le héros et sa créature (le Cormier 2002) Salut salut Marxus (éditions Al Dante 2006) Ma Tante Sidonie (POL 2010)
Zoltán Tolvaj (born 1978 in Budapest, Hungary) spent his first few years in Brazil then grew up in Transylvania and Hungary. Since 1998 he has been writing poems, essays and short stories which have been published in many Hungarian literary magazines . He has published two collections of verse. Zoltán Tolvaj studied astrology and Hungarian and Portuguese language and literature, has worked in hostels and as a bar musician and was from 2003 to 2008 the online editor of a Hungarian literature portal. In 2010 he received the Móricz Zsigmond fellowship for young Hungarian writers. He also works as a translator from Brazilian, Portuguese and Galician and has won various literary prizes for his translations, including the Junior Parnassus Prize of the city of Eger.
Publications: Translation of César Aira’s novel Ghosts (2012)
Jenny Tunedal (born 1973 in Malmö, Sweden) lives in the countryside outside Stockholm and works as a poet and literary critic. She studied Englaish and Comparative Literature in Lund and attended courses in journalism in Dublin. Since 2007 she has been the literary editor of thze Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet. From 2004 to 2006 she was editor-in-chief of Lyrikvännen, Sweden’s oldest poetry magazine. She was awarded the Prins Eugens Culture Prize in 2005 for her work as a poet, critic and editor. She is interested in international poetry, especially American. She has translated poems by Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Claudia Rankine.
Publications: Hejdade, hejdade sken (Wahlström & Widstrand 2003) Kapitel Ett (Wahlström & Widstrand 2008) Handflata: Du ska också ha det bra (Eolit förlag, 2009) Mitt krig, sviter (Wahlström & Widstrand 2011) Ariel by Sylvia Plath (translation, Ellerströms förlag 2012)
Arvis Viguls (born 1987 in Latvia) is a student at the Latvian Academy of Art and is a poet and translator and writes for a literary radio programme. He received the Poetry Days Prize Latvian Writers Union’s Annual Award for First Collection of the Year for his first collection of poems, Istaba. Last year he won the Anna Dagda’s Prize for the manuscript of his second collection, 5 am, which is forthcoming in 2012. Arvis Viguls ´translates poetry from the English (Walt Whitman), Spanish (Frederico García Lorca) and Russian (Joseph Brodsky). In 2010 he took part in the international Transpoesie project in Brussels with his poem ‘Durvis’ (The Doors).
Publications: Istaba (Satori 2009)
Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało (born 1979 in Wrocław, Poland) has published two collections of short stories and six books of verse. She works as a television journalist, presenting a cultural programme in which new books are presented. Wolny-Hamkało not infrequently turns into a performance artist when presenting her own texts, using her whole body to reinforce the expression in her poems or playing vibraphone to enhance her verse. When she is not on the stage, she teaches creative writing and writes children’s books. Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało has a degree in Cultural Studies and is an acknowledged expert on multi-media and feminist art.
Publications (selection): Mocno poszukiwana (Most wanted) (ATUT 1999) Lonty (Fuses) (na zlec. Stowarzyszenia Pisarzy Polskich 2001) Gospel (Biuro Literackie 2004) Ani mi się śni (No way, I will) (Biuro Literackie 2006) Spamy miłosne (Spams of love) (Wydawn a5 K.Krynicha 2007) Nikon i Leica (Wydawnictwo Wojewódzkiej Biblioteki Publicznej i Centrum Animacji Kultury 2010)