Sinéad Morrissey, Ireland. transl. Magda Heydel
2020: Sinéad Morrissey
When reading Sinéad Morrissey’s poems, there is no doubt that the balance of the world is by no means its self-evident state. The architecture of this poetry is extravagant and fragile, balancing on the edge of the impossible, and yet proving possible, if only for a beautiful moment. Like the triumphant flight of the mayfly, like circus art, like the susans of a polar bear, like the machines of Al Jazari. Morrissey’s poems speak to the not-so-obvious balance of being a woman, speaking lyrically and discursively at the same time. This is a book that is consistent and coherent in the almost surreal richness of its images.
A selection of poems
Sinéad Morrissey (b. 1972 in Country Armagh, Northern Ireland, and raised in Belfast) is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin. She spent long periods abroad, among others in Japan and New Zealand, before returning to Belfast. In 2014, the city appointed her its inaugural poet laureate. Morrissey wrote six books of poetry: “There Was Fire in Vancouver” (1996), “Between Here and There” (2001), “The State of the Prisons” (2005), “Through the Square Window” (2009), “Parallax and Selected Poems” (2013), and “On Balance” (2017). “Parallax” won the T.S. Eliot prize and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Morrissey has also received the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and first place in the 2007 UK National Poetry Competition. Her volume “On Balance” won the Forward Prize for the best collection of poetry. Sinéad Morrissey teaches creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast and at Newcastle University.
Magda Heydel (b. 1969) is a translator of English-speaking literature. She has translated, among others, the works of Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, and Roald Dahl. Heydel has received the Literatura na Świecie award twice. She edited “Przekłady poetyckie wszystkie Czesława Miłosza” (2015) and “444 wiersze poetów języka angielskiego XX wieku” by Stanisław Barańczak (2017). She teaches the theory and practice of literary translation at the Jagiellonian University’s Faculty of Polish Studies, and is the head of the Literary and Cultural Translation Studies (MA course). She co-wrote the anthologies “Współczesne teorie przekładu” (2009) and “Polska myśl przekładoznawcza” (2013), and is the editor-in-chief of “Przekładaniec. A Journal of Translation Studies”. One of her most recent book is “Gorliwość tłumacza. Przekład poetycki w dziele Czesława Miłosza” (2013).