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My Native Land A4
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About the Author

Ana Blandiana was born in 1942 in Timisoara, 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 Legion d'Honneur (2009). She has won numerous international literary awards. Her latest book My Native Land A4 was published in Romania in 2010, and was first published in English by Bloodaxe Books in 2014 (translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea), which was followed by The Sun of Hereafter / Ebb of the Senses in 2017, a volume also translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea combining her two previous collections and a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. 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 Kornas-Warwas. She received the Griffin Trust's Lifetime Recognition Award at the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist readings in June 2018.

Reviews

The blank page... stands as a perennial reminder of how freedom emerges even within repression... I am most moved in her book by the delicacy and scope realised time after time by her profoundly analogical imagination. -- Charles Altieri * Chicago Review *
The poems that deal at all with freedom do so in ways which are philosophical rather than political, putting the speaker and by extension all humanity in spaces that are enclosed, with no or illusory exits. * World Literature Today *

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