"Soft Pliancy of Water"
Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, semiotician, translator, collage artist, and Professor Emerita of Slavonic Studies at Indiana University. A Czech exile, she lived and taught in the U.S. for over forty years, publishing extensively in Czech and English. She continues to publish bilingual books of poetry, conducts international author readings, and participates in many international poetry festivals as guest of honor and medalist. She currently resides in Prague. Her latest book is Where Everyone Leaves Never to Return, published in 2023 by Plamen Press.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Bronislava, what poems have you brought for us today?
You've been listening to the poems of Bronislava Volkova on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.
Note from Bronislava:
"I would like to introduce today my new book Where Everyone Leaves Never to Return, which has been written primarily in Czech, but also in English and published by Plamen Press in Washington, D.C. in 2023 with a rare book alternative version accompanied with my collages by Explorer Editions. It is a book moving between this world and the other, a book of parting with loves, with passion, with animals, with youth, with foolish beliefs etc. It is also a book of coming to oneself, as well as playful shifting of perspectives on various concepts of life. The book has been written in the span of about five years, since 2016 till 2021 and it is my twelfth book of poetry. Since 2000, I have been writing and publishing my poetry bilingually and with my color collages. The book is available through the publisher, electronically as well as published on demand. Plamen Press is distributed by Ingram."
Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, semiotician, translator, collagist, essayist and Professor Emerita of Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, where she was a Director of the Czech Program at the Slavic Department for thirty years. She is a member of Czech and American PEN Club. She went into exile in 1974, taught at the Universities of Cologne and Marburg in Germany and subsequently at Harvard and University of Virginia in Charlottesville in the USA.
She has published eleven books of existential and metaphysical poetry in Czech and seven bilingual editions illustrated with her own collages. She is also the author of two books on linguistic and literary semiotics (Emotive Signs in Language, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 1987 and A Feminist’s Semiotic Odyssey through Czech Literature, Edwin Mellen Press, N.Y., 1997), as well as the leading co-author of a large anthology of Czech poetry translations into English Up The Devil’s Back: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry (with Clarice Cloutier), Slavica Publishers, 2008.
Her scholarly publications include topics of Czech poetry, Czech popular culture, issues of exile, gender, implied author values and emotive signs. Her poetry has been translated into thirteen languages. She has also received a number of international literary and cultural awards and participated in a number of international poetry festivals around the world.She has also periodically done extensive exhibits of her collage work.
Books of her selected poems are currently available in English, Russian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, German and Spanish. Recently, she has published a book Forms of Exile in Jewish Literature and Thought (Twentieth-Century Central Europe and Migration to America), Academic Studies Press, Boston, 2021, available also in Open Research Library and in Czech translation in Nakladatelství Pavel Mervart, Czech Republic, 2022.