Poetry to me is respiration and inspiration, a window out of the bleakest of the worlds looking back onto it, with an unforeseen slant of unusual light that vivifies the picture. A game of light, an inertial space or system, an open work, the most alluring or sophisticated composition derived from apparent nothing...
Martin Solotruk was born in Bratislava and obtained an MA in English and Slovak, and a PhD on American Poetry from the Comenius University, Bratislava, where he now teaches. His first book of poetry, Tiché vojny (Silent Wars), won the Slovak Literary Fund Best Debut Award in 1997. His second collection, Mletie (Milling), was published in 2001. It was followed by Planktón gravitácie (Plankton of Gravity), published in 2005 and Lovestory: Agens and paciens, published in 2007. Solotruk combines in his poems his socialist youth with the vividness of his grandparents’ vineyards and a strong sense of the Slavonic Byzantine heritage. He is also known as a translator, and his translations of the poetry of, among others, Ted Hughes, John Ashbery, Seamus Heaney and Charles Simic have appeared in book form and in magazines in Slovakia.
His poems appeared in several anthologies in Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Mexico, and the US, including A Fine Line: New Poetry from Eastern and Central Europe (Arc Publications, 2004) and New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008). He also translates poetry from English. His award winning book selections include works of Charles Simic, John Ashbery, and Ted Hughes. For his translation of Ted Hughes Crow he won the 2007 prize for the best artistic translation. He is also a Director of Ars Poetica International, a poetry festival and publishing house (www.arspoetica.sk).
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