17th - 22nd October 2013


Martin Solotruk


Martin Solotruk

Martin Solotruk was born in Bratislava in 1970. He graduated in English and American studies and in Slovak literature at Comenius University, Bratislava, where he now teaches, after spending some years in television and advertising.

He has studied in the Azusa Pacific University, California, and the University of Warwick, UK.

Solotruk's first book of poetry Tiché vojny (Silent Wars) (1997) won the Slovak Literary Fund Best Debut Award. It was followed by Mletie (Grinding) (2001), Plankton of Gravity (2006), and Lovestory: Agens apaciens (2007).

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).

Solotruk has read at festivals and events in numerous cities, including London, Vienna, Cracow, Berlin, Genova, Dublin, St. Andrews, Taipei, Firenze, Cartagena des Indias, San Jose, and elsewhere. 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)





Real Childbirth: Euclidian Word Problem for Two Voices from Within in One

The stubborn halo
of a child curled into a ball
in the fetal position
before being caressed
by the light on top of its head
is putting off
the shift in its mental field
between the parting banks
a sudden short-circuit current obstructs
the following existential attempt
at dignity in the initial form
and twists only in the shape-forming direction
head against the wall of light

passing as if through a geometric word
problem, turning results
into variables

bringing the receptors of a sensitive sign-machine towards the x ending
when suddenly the first kiss on the forehead
elucidates the mystery
in the xyz coronation ceremony
grants the privileges of space
into which we're just being led
in the insistent rhythm of a joyful
yet thorny heart
that is enticing us into the flow
in the xyz rhythm in a variable
rhythm of sudden variables
a thorn rhythmically spread into flow
a point wherever in the xyz
of the typewriter of variables
of thorns and types, of types and thorns
that are pumping up mother's heart
ever more fiercely
pushing us out as in the beginning of the world
into an indescribable space
where the intimate codes become coordinates
pointed into codes
of a machine encoding its activity into coordinates:
whether it's she or whether it is he -
don't blame us, if we aren't your type.


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