Romania Rocks: Let there be poetry!

Five of Romania’s strongest poetic voices, Svetlana Cârstean, Claudiu Komartin, Radu Nițescu, Andra Rotaru and Radu Vancu, take us to the cities of Bucharest and Sibiu, in southern and central Romania, for an evening of boundless verse and never-before-seen landscapes. Readings in collaboration with PEN Romania.

27 October 2020, 6:30pm
online | RCI London’s Facebook page and YouTube channel

Svetlana Cârstean studied Romanian and French Literature and belonged to the ‘Cărtărescu’ literary circle. As a freelance journalist, she worked for print and television editorials and released several magazines and anthologies. Her highly emotional and playful poetry quickly earned her national and international attention, prizes and scholarships. She lives and works in Bucharest.

Claudiu Komartin (Bucharest, 1983), debuted in 2003 with Păpușarul și alte insomnii (The Puppeteer and Other Insomnia), which was awarded many literary prizes and launched a discussion on young poets’ revival of expressionism. In 2010, he initiated The Max Blecher Publishing House, an editorial project aimed at the promotion of contemporary Romanian literature, relatively less-known outside of the country, as well as bringing underground Romanian authors closer to the public and eventually integrating them into mainstream literature. Since 2010, Komartin is the editor-in-chief of Poesis International literary magazine.

Radu Nițescu is one of the youngest published writers in the country. In 2012 he debuted with his book gringo, capturing an outstanding charismatic allure throughout the poem. His works have been published in literary magazines Poesis International, New Zone and Literary Romania. He translated poems by Mark Strand for several editorials. His second book, Dialecta urşilor (Dialectics of Bears), appeared in 2016, a brave composition of contemporary poetry.

Andra Rotaru is a poet, cultural journalist and literary activist. Her 2005 debut collection Într-un pat sub cearșaful alb (In a Bed Under the White Sheets) garnered four national awards; it was followed by the poetry volumes Ținuturile sudului (Southern Lands) (2010) and Lemur (2013), the latter turned into a collaborative dance/video performance presented in the U.S. and across Europe. Her work has been widely translated and anthologized.

Radu Vancu is a Romanian poet, scholar and translator. He is the coordinating editor of several significant literary magazines. Starting with 2002, he has published seven books of poems, for which he was awarded several prizes, both national and international. Together with Claudiu Komartin, he is the co-editor of the anthologies ‘Best Romanian Poems of the Year’ (2010, 2011, and 2012). He has translated novels and poetry, mainly from the works of John Berryman and W.B. Yeats; he is also the translator of the on-going four-volume Ezra Pound edition published under the cure of Horia-Roman Patapievici.

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