Ana Blandiana was born in 1942 in Timişoara, Romania. She is an almost legendary figure who holds a position in Romanian culture comparable to that of Anna Akhmatova and Vaclav Havel in Russian and Czech literature. She has published 14 books of poetry, two of short stories, nine books of essays and one novel. Her work has been translated into 24 languages published in 58 books of poetry and prose to date. In Britain a number of her earlier poems were published in The Hour of Sand: Selected Poems 1969-1989 (Anvil Press Poetry, 1989), with a later selection in versions by Seamus Heaney in John Fairleigh’s contemporary Romanian anthology When the Tunnels Meet (Bloodaxe Books, 1996). She was co-founder and President of the Civic Alliance from 1990, an independent non-political organisation that fought for freedom and democratic change. She also re-founded and became President of the Romanian PEN Club, and in 1993, under the aegis of the European Community, she created the Memorial for the Victims of Communism. In recognition of her contribution to European culture and her valiant fight for human rights, Blandiana was awarded the highest distinction of the French Republic, the Légion d’Honneur (2009). She has won numerous international literary awards. Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea have translated all her poetry into English. Their first translation to appear from Bloodaxe was of My Native Land A4 (2010) in 2014. This was followed by The Sun of Hereafter / Ebb of the Senses in 2017, combining her two previous collections, and a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. Further compilations are forthcoming: Five Books in 2021 followed by The Shadow of Words. Ana Blandiana was awarded the European Poet of Freedom Prize for 2016 by the city of Gdansk for My Native Land A4, published in Polish in 2016, the award shared with her Polish translator Joanna Kornaś-Warwas. She received the Griffin Trust’s Lifetime Recognition Award at the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist readings in 2018.
Books by Ana Blandiana