An Evening of German and Swiss Poetry and Music

May 3, 2012

Download Story
GI/file
Tzveta Sofronieva

Tzveta Sofronieva is the author of fourteen books of poetry, short stories, essays, and translations. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1963, she has lived in Germany since 1992 and writes in German, Bulgarian, and English. Her recent collection, A Hand Full of Water, translated by Chantal Wright, won the first Cliff Becker Prize in Translation and will be published by White Pine Press in Fall 2012 in a bilingual edition. Poet and translator Willis Barnstone, judge of the competition, says that in A Hand Full of Water, "Sofronieva refreshes and re-jewels the German language, making it plainer and richer by her global iridescence.”

Sam Burckhardt was born in Switzerland and has been playing music in Chicago for 30 years. He has performed or recorded with some of Chicago’s finest musicians, including Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Littlejohn, Steve Freund, Robert Stroger, Robert Covington, Pinetop Perkins, Erwin Helfer, Floyd McDaniel, Jimmy Rogers, Louis and Dave Myers, Fred Below, Smokey Smothers, Zora Young, and Big Time Sarah. He was a founding member of the Mighty Blue Kings.

Chantal Wright is a literary translator and assistant professor of German and translation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, and the University of East Anglia in the UK. Her award-winning translation of Tzveta Sofronieva’s Eine Hand voll Wasser was funded by a grant from PEN American Center’s translation fund and supported by a residency at the Banff Centre.

Recorded Thursday, May 3, 2012 at Poetry Foundation.