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For this week’s Translation of the Week we feature the poem “A Yacht Sails at Night” from our upcoming publication Paper Bridge, by Ukrainian poet Vasyl Makhno; translated by Olena
Plamen Press and Sciences has teamed up with the Washington DC Chapter of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences and Baltimore-based Sun King Records, , and a group of international musicians (The Yehla Collective) to record an English version of the legendary song by legendary singer-songwriter and poet Karel Kryl: Bratřícku, zavírej vrátka or Brother, Close the Gate, Will you?. The song is reflective of Kryl’s initial shock, disbelief, and later anger triggered by the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of his country, Czechoslovakia. Karel Kryl was forced into exile in West Germany where he continued to perform and produce songs smuggling them into occupied Czechoslovakia and distributing them through Samizdat. Brother, Close the Gate, Will you? became a symbol of resistance during the 23-year occupation.
Sound of the Sundial among The Calvert Journal’s picks of best 7 contemporary Czech novels everyone should read.
We are pleased to announce that one of our publications, The Sound of the Sundial by Hana Andronikova has been chosen as one of the seven best Czech novels everyone should read by The Calvert Journal. We thank Cory Oldweiler for a wonderful review. The article can be read here.
Moravian writer and poet Jan Skácel was born in 1922 in Vnorovy, Czechoslovakia. He studied philosophy at Masaryk University. In 1948 he was the Cultural Editor for the daily Rovnost (Equality) and in 1954 he started work for the literary division of Radio Brno. In 1963 he became the Editor in Chief for the cultural journal Host do domu (Guest in the House) and he remained there until 1969 when the journal was banned during the period of “Normalizaton”. After his dismissal, his poems could appear only in samizdat or in exile literature. He died in on November 7, 1989 just ten days shy of the Velvet Revolution .
Czech Singer-songwriter icon Karel Kryl was author of many protest songs in which he attacked the absurdity of the Communist regime after the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia. His first album was recorded at home and included songs such as The Angel and Morituri te Salutant. After being forced into exile his later albums were smuggled into his homeland, creating a nationwide underground following. His songs were a vital inspiration for the movement that triggered the Velvet Revolution that ended Communism in Czechoslovakia.
We are an independent publishing house based in Washington DC that focuses on publishing the most influential writers and poets from Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe.