“ Poetry’s only obligation is to the truth. Whether this truth is widely popular or not is irrelevant. It should be the best truth possible and that is the only quality that gives it any hope of survival.” – George Szirtes
George Szirtes was born in Hungary and emigrated to England with his parents—survivors of concentration and labour camps—after the 1956 Budapest uprising. His first book, The Slant Door (1979), won the Faber Memorial Prize. Bridge Passages (1991) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize. Reel (2004) won the T.S. Eliot Prize, and his New and Collected Poems was published by Bloodaxe in 2008. He has also translated, edited, and anthologised numerous collections of Hungarian poetry. For his translation work Szirtes has won several awards, including the Dery Prize for Imre Madach’s The Tragedy of Man (1989) and the European Poetry Translation Prize for Zsuzsa Rakovsky’s New Life (1994).
There will be an Open Mic session first – one poem each for everyone who wants to read. It’s always a pleasure to hear new voices!