Trafika Europe Radio is launching its fifth season with an exceptional literary line-up, featuring:

– Bulgarian-German author Ilija Trojanow on his ecological novel, The Lamentations of Zeno, and some implications for the world

– Legendary Romanian poet Ana Blandiana with translator Viorica Patea and host Fiona Sampson, on Ana’s recent poetry collection, Five Books

– Leading translator Bill Johnston discussing his translation from French of Jean Giono’s Ennemonde

– Iconic Italian poet Franca Mancinelli in conversation with translator and poet John Taylor


Detailed descriptions follow:

Our programming day begins on Sunday 27 February 2022 at 11:00am EST (New York time) = 4:00pm GMT (UK) = 5:00pm CET (Paris, Rome, & Berlin) = 6:00pm EET (Romania & Bulgaria). Each next show then starts at the top of the following hour — like this:

11amEST/4pmGMT/5pmCET/6pmEET: Eco-Lit #14 – Ilija Trojanow: The Lamentations of Zeno

We kick off the season with a deep dive into the consequences of climate change and the power of identities. Host Ilka Demmler talks with German-Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow about his environmental novel The Lamentations of Zeno, focusing on emotional aspects of the devastation caused by climate change and the influence of identities on our life. With two readings from the novel, in German read by the author and in English translation read by Cameron Green, this very special interview conveys a message we hope you will hear along with us. The Lamentations of Zeno has been translated by Phillip Boehm and was published in English in 2016 by Verso Books.


12pmEST/5pmGMT/6pmCET/7pmEET: The Middle Ground #29 – Ana Blandiana (fully bi-lingual Romanian-English)

Ana Blandiana is one of Romania’s foremost poets, a leading dissident before the fall of Communism. Over the years, her poetry became symbolic of an ethical consciousness that refuses to be silenced by totalitarian governments. In this episode, host Fiona Sampson focuses with Ana on Five Books. This new work out from Bloodaxe Books combines five of her collections – three of protest poems from the 1980s followed by her two collections of love poetry – in fresh translations by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea. This episode features live translation by Viorica Patea, with poems from each of the five volumes – sublime!

And by the way, UK poet, editor, biographer, and translator Fiona Sampson will be hosting all of season five of The Middle Ground on Trafika Europe Radio, focusing her immense talent and knowledge on selected writers from across Central and Eastern Europe! We’re glad and grateful for this excellent cooperation.


1pmEST/6pmGMT/7pmCET/8pmEET: French Forays #21 — Bill Johnston on translating Ennemonde

Renowned translator from Polish and French, Bill Johnston, discusses with host Clayton McKee his translation of Jean Giono’s Ennemonde. He describes his translation process, nuances of translating Polish and French, and how he became such a fan of Giono’s work.


2pmEST/7pmGMT/8pmCET: Bowery Poetry Speaks #43 — Italian poet Franca Mancinelli

Franca Mancinelli is one of the most original poets to have emerged in Italy during the past fifteen years. In English, her prose poems are available in The Little Book of Passage (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2018) and her verse poetry in At an Hour’s Sleep from Here (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2019), both books translated by John Taylor, who interviews her here about her poetry, with generous bilingual excerpt readings.


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