Poetry in Krems: authors in residence 2017

Everything somehow is connected with everything ... Apart from Versopolis it will be a quite poetic time for Literaturhaus NÖ. Three poets in a row will be writers-in-residence from February to April 2017.

The first is István Vörös from Budapest, the second one will be Budapest-born Slovak writer Mila Haugová and the third poet who will spend one month in Krems will be German Anja Utler, who translated Mila Haugová’s book „Schlaflied wilder Tiere“ into German.

And all three poets have book publications at Austrian publishing house Edition Korrespondenzen.

Let us have a closer look at István Vörös and Mila Haugová.





István Vörös was born in 1964. He is a poet and lecturer at the Institute of Czech Philology at the Catholic University PPKE and also teaches creative writing.

His first German book („Die leere Grapefruit“. Poems. Translated from Hungarian by Zsuzsanna Gahse) was published by Edition Korrespondenzen in Vienna in 2004. In 2008 followed another book at Edition Korrespondenzen, titled „Heidegger als Postbote“.

István Vörös was awarded many international prizes and scholarships, among them Hubert Burda Prize in Heidelberg (2003) and DAAD Berlin (2006 / 2007).

We presented István Vörös to our audience on February 21 at Collegium Hungaricum in Vienna.





If I didn’t know that on this folk would normally sit,

 I’d never suspect what its dark

and lighter areas signified.


If I hadn’t seen the wrist of the one

 who here had sat, I couldn’t say

this patch is the calf, that one the rear.


If the fresh scent of her hair didn’t waft my way,

 her skin unseen, I’d not wonder now

why amid the lines of the thighs a thin strip lies,


why it then expands a bit as it arcs higher

 along its velvet path, and why this vision

so vulnerable glows with mysterious power.


If I hadn’t seen her stand up and go,

 I’d not from the seat beside hers

gingerly slide my palm, so,


along the velvet’s claret warmth

 and wouldn’t wait for its hue

to cool to blue.


I remove my hand. The patch between

 the patches melts away,

closes up, as if nonexistence were keen


to vanish, or as if this was where

 there slipped into the world

a certain joy unbridled.


(translated from Hungarian into English by © Peter Sherwood 2017)






One Grande Dame of Eastern European poetry, Slovakian Mila Haugová, will be writer-in-residence in Krems in March 2017. It will be a bit like coming home for dear Mila as she was already once before our guest in Krems – back in September and October 2001.


Mila Haugová was born in Budapest in 1942. She published her first poetry book called „Rusty Clay“ (Hrdzavá hlina) in 1980 under the name Mila Srnková. In 1986 she started a decade long stint as editor of the literary magazine „Romboid“. After this she earned her living translating from German and writing in Bratislava and Levice.

In 1990 she published „Čisté dni“, which was based on the graphical works of her partner Peter Ondreička, who died in the same year. Further she published – among other books – the poetry books „Atlas piesku“ and „Genotext“ in 2011.


Thanks to Vienna-based Edition Korrespondenzen there are also two German titles of Mila Haugová available – „Sandatlas“ (translated by Angela Repka) and „Schlaflied wilder Tiere“ (translated by Anja Utler).


Samples of her outstanding poetry Mila Haugová will read on the 21-st of March at Slovak Institute in Vienna.







Because we still live in this world torn apart

a  limitless winter, neither beginning nor ending.

but perhaps as before, when we make love the window illuminates.

and in the window a stag’s head flashes in search of the doe

we killed when she unexpectedly emerged from the mist in a ditch

a shining white glow on the road, then a dull thud and crash.

back into the ditch, nor would you let me look at her.

I imagine her lying in the glitter of the early evening light

in the white snow, without a drop of blood, you said, without a drop of blood.

there is a single wall that separated me from her, a single garden,

to which she always comes, the exact curve of her fall answers to our

hearts, so much we didn’t know, will always walk lightly

to the garden, the garden in which I wait, coiling into my

sorrow for the double loss, the third of January, half past five in the evening,

couldn’t we have not come to this meeting? Who delivered me (us)

from that moment, I had to die myself, rushed to the window on my

side, what does it mean? wolf grass deep breathing

under the snow, who sent us exactly there when she wished to cross

the road which she and her ancestors had known through the ages.

across the road a caved-in shed. broken fence, children’s anxiety and sadness.


(translated from Slovak into English by © James Sutherland Smith)





I am white fog

I am white fog filling a valley.

A dark stray animal that weeps so that no-one should die.

I don’t need the courage to die, but to live.


so we don’t foresee misunderstanding.

There is a reason. a man stopped perceiving a woman.

you me. How did it happen I ask.

inexorably, we have begun to change, one in the other.

one into the other, I don’t know

whether I have loved or you. the hands which have embraced me are (his)

mine. the hands with which I’ve embraced him

are (mine) his. and mouth. and smile. and shape. and sleep.

and love. and hate for what we knew.

we know, also from this we can’t not know and we aren’t as

we’ve wanted to be there for one another

from the beginning Mystical Angels, guests

unknowingly welcome in the house and the third angel

has held above us a stony sky.


(translated from Slovak into English by © James Sutherland Smith)