Dalkey Archive Press tops world literature today’s notable translations



World Literature Today has picked six Dalkey Archive books for its “75 Notable Translations of 2016” list—a number unsurpassed by any other publisher. The books, selected by WLT’s editors, represent the best of international literature in translation. Dalkey Archive has been featured every year since the list began in 2012, and is proud to have its authors and translators recognized for their extraordinary work again this year.

The six titles are representative of Dalkey’s unique mission to identify excellent works of literature from countries that are often overlooked in the literary marketplace, and are comprised of the following:

  • Gabriela Adameșteanu’s The Encounter, translated by Alistair Ian Blyth (Romania)
  • Zsuzsanna Gahse’s Volatile Texts: Us Two, translated Chenxin Jiang (Switzerland)
  • Jung Young-moon’s A Contrived World, translated Jeffrey Karvonen & Mah Eunji (Korea)
  • Youval Shimoni’s A Room, translated by Michael Sharp (Israel)
  • Suzana Tratnik’s Games with Greta and Other Stories, translated by Michael Biggins (Slovenia)
  • Jovanka Živanović’s Fragile Travelers, translated by Jovanka Kalaba (Serbia)

Two of these six notable translations are the work of two post-graduate students, Chenxin Jiang and Jovanka Kalaba, who were enrolled in the Certificate in Applied Literary Translation Program that is currently offered in collaboration between the University of Houston-Victoria and Dalkey Archive Press. The Program was begun by John O’Brien—the publisher and founder of Dalkey Archive—in 2005 in response to the need for emerging translators to work closely with an editor at a publishing house that will then publish their first book-length translation.

In addition to their translation work, students enrolled in the program are trained and given practical experience in evaluating manuscripts, working with agents and other publishing firms, and devising contracts. To date over forty students have participated in the program, and several translations have already appeared or will be published in the near future. The success of the program continues to depend upon the close working relationship between editor and translator.

The 2016 Crystal Vilenica Award Winner is Kateryna Kalytko

The 2016 Crystal Vilenica award announcement,
delivered by jury president Martin Dyar on behalf of his fellow judges
Les Wicks, Suzana Tratnik, Neil Astley and Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel.

The jury of this year’s Crystal Vilenica award enjoyed its work. Each of the judges has expressed that they found it a privilege and a pleasure to be engaged in the process of reading and assessing the work of the nineteen candidates.

All of the samples and excerpts conveyed originality, artistic seriousness, and a commitment to narrative and lyrical truths. In many cases these virtues were bolstered by compelling examples of social, political and ethical focus.

The decision was not easy: the judges pushed each other and listened to each other at length. However, in the end, the winner was selected on a unanimous basis.

And so, the result. For writing that left the jury with the sense of a dynamic and innately beautiful poetic voice, and for poems that moved us through a series of imaginatively-charged questions relating to the spheres of historical consequence, human intimacy, and the negotiation of loss; as well as questions with metaphysical and even spiritual tones; and, perhaps above all, for poems whose compelling national character also transmits an unmistakable universal resonance, a humanity at once borderless and fearless,
the 2016 CrYstal Vilenica award goes to Kateryna Kalytko.

Martin Dyar, September 10th  2016, Štanjel, Slovenia.


Kateryna Kalytko was born in 1982 in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. She graduated in Political Science and Journalism. She regularly publishes poetry, short stories, literary criticism and translations in Ukrainian magazines, newspapers and online. She has published six collections of poetry: Посібник зі створення світу (Manual on the Creation of the World, 1999), Сьогоднішнє завтрашнє (Today’s Tomorrow, 2002), Портретування асфальту ­(Portray­ing the Asphalt, 2004), Діалоги з Одіс­сєем (Dialogues with ­Odysseus, 2005), Сезон штормів (Season of Storms, 2013) and Катівня. Виноградник. Дім (Torture Chamber. Vineyard. Home, 2014), which was chosen as the Best Ukrainian Book of the Year in 2014. In addition to poetry, she also published a collection of prose titled М.Істерія (M(h)ysteri(a) in 2007. She is known as the initiator of Intermezzo – the first Ukrainian short story festival, which was launched last year. Kalitko is an acclaimed translator from Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, having translated works by authors such as Adisa Bašić, Nenad Veličković and Miljenko Jergović. She received the META­PHORA award in 2014 for translation of Jergović’s works. She has been the recipient of many literary fellowships, among them the Central European Initiative Fellowship for Writers in Residence in 2015.

Changes in the Programme

Changes in the musical part of the 31st festival Vilenica:

Thursday, 8 Sept
20.30 Concert: Gal Gjurin and Temna godba 
Lokev, Muha Homestead

Saturday, 10 Sept
Closing Party
Concert: Čedahuči
In front of Vilenica Cave

Publications of the 31st Vilenica

Publications of the 31st International Literary Festival Vilenica:

The recipient of the Central European Initiative Fellowship for the year 2016

The recipient of the Central European Initiative Fellowship for the year 2016 is

Tanja Bakić from Montenegro.

tanja bakic_photo Jan GavuraTanja Bakić, born in 1981, is a Montenegrin poet, literary scholar, and translator who also writes on music. She graduated with an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Montenegro. She is a Bloomsbury authors, one the UK’s leading publishers. She was a speaker at the William Blake Colloquium at the world-renowned Tate Britain gallery in London, where she also held a poetry performance. A recipient of the Modern Humanities Research Association grant, she has been featured in the line-ups at various international festivals, named artist-in-residence in several countries, and twice selected by an international jury of art critics as the Montenegrin representative at the art biennial of Europe and the Mediterranean – in Ancona in 2013 and in Milan in 2015. She has contributed an aural component to a plant installation by the Australian eco-designer Tanja Beer that was presented by Arts House (Melbourne) in partnership with Cambridge Junction, UK. She is responsible for the Montenegrin component of the world poetry festival ‘Palabra en el Mundo’ (the co-founder of the World Poetry Movement, which was initiated in Cuba, Chile and Argentina). Her music-related bestselling non-fiction work, Voodoo Child: Priča o Jimiju Hendrixu (Voodoo Child: A Story About Jimi Hendrix, 2013) – revealing her collaboration with Hendrix’s former London-based girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, his sound engineer Roger Mayer, and with Bojan Z., the world renown jazz musician – was the most talked-about book of the year in Montenegro.

From the committee’s justification:
In her new work “Lost Memories,” the young Montenegrin author Tanja Bakić turns to a literary form that is a rather rare one these days: the epistolary novel. Her very choice of form has earned her additional attention. The novel consists of letters by women from Montenegro and the Czech Republic – from countries that on the face of things have nothing more in common that a few formal historical postulates – and the work stokes our imagination even before we have begun to discover these women’s lives, even before we, as readers, meet with their memories. We imagine that these women share much more than a common history of socialism and that fact that their countries were born around the same time. Bakić underlines that she is interested, as well, in the entirely concrete “lost memories” that she will reveal also through the examination of the individual environments. We readers, meanwhile, will surely be curious to learn whether these women’s letters consist more of forgetting than of memories. What do the women want to remember in their correspondence? And what do they want to forget? The question is of course this: why? What is it that propels them?
Is it more than just time and the personal desire to forget that influences their lost memories? How much of their memory must indeed be “lost”? It is, after all, well known that a person can lose everything, except their memory. And yet, that is unfortunately only a partial truth. But even memories that have been lost are part of our personal history.

About the CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence
Since 2006 the CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence has been presented by the Central European Initiative in collaboration with the Slovene Writers’ Association, as part of the Vilenica Festival. The Fellowship seeks to encourage cross-border cooperation and promotion in the field of literature for young writers from Central European Initiative member states that are not members of the European Union. The Fellowship, which is endowed with a cash award of 5,000 EUR, is intended to be used for a three-month residence in any CEI member state of the candidate’s choice. During this period the author is expected to work on the project indicated in the application form. The recipient of the fellowship will be announced in August, the fellowship will be presented to him or her at the opening ceremony.

Previous CEI Fellowship recipients:
2015 – Kateryna Kalytko, Ukraine
2014 – Mirko Božić, BiH / Croatia
2013 – Artem Chapeye, Ukraine
2012 – Ajla Terzić, BiH
2011 – Ognjen Spahić, Montenegro
2010 – Maja Hrgović, Croatia
2009 – Dragan Radovančević, Serbia
2008 – Ivana Sajko, Croatia
2007 – Marianna Kiyanovska, Ukraine
2006 – Goce Smilevski, Macedonia

International jury members for the CEI Fellowship for 2016:
Patrizia Vascotto, Italy, president
Ludwig Hartinger, Austria
Dragica Potočnjak, Slovenia
Đurđa Strsoglavec, Slovenia
Namita Subiotto, Slovenia


Author in focus 2016

This year’s Slovenian Author in Focus is Suzana Tratnik, who will also play an important role in the 2016 festival. Dalkey Archive Press will publish Tratnik’s collection of short stories entitled Games with Greta and Other Stories translated by Michael Biggins.

Suzana Tratnik

Suzana Tratnik