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Date: 05.02.2022

Time: 19:00 - 19:30

Location: Youtube

Budapest, Hungary

You can watch Literature Live Around the World on YouTube.

ISA PUR ES CHOMOU, i. e. "Surely we are but dust and ashes"

Presented by Hungarian Translators' House Foundation and the Hungarian Association of Literary Translators.

There will be readings, performances and jazz poetry with Hungarian authors, based on the title taken from Nyelvemlékek (The Funeral Sermon and Prayer), the oldest known and surviving contiguous Hungarian text. It was written by one scribal hand in Latin script and dates from 1192–1195. It is found on f.154a of the medieval Pray Codex or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript.

Local hosts: Gábor Schein and Eszter Orbán



György Spiró was born in 1946 in Budapest. He is one of Hungary’s leading contemporary authors, a writer, dramatist, and eminent translator and scholar of Polish literature. Spiró is one of the most frequently played contemporary playwrights of Hungary. His novel Captivity (2005) was the literary sensation of the year, earning the author the Aegon Prize for best book of the year and listed by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2015. Spiró’s works have been translated into English, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew,Polish, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Turkish.

Captivity is a complex and fast-paced tale of Jewish life in the early first century, a sort of sword-and-sandals saga as reimagined by Henry Roth. The narrative follows Uri from Rome to Jerusalem and back, from prospectless dreamer to political operative to pogrom survivor―who along the way also happens to dine with Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate and get thrown into a cell with a certain Galilean rabble-rouser. Hungarian György Spiró’s deft combination of philosophical inquiry and page-turning brio should overcome that oft-mentioned American timidity toward books in translation.” ―The Wall Street Journal, Best Books of 2015

Gabor G Gyukics was born in Budapest. He is a poet (jazz poet) and translator, as well as the author of 11 books of poetry in five languages, 1 book of prose and 17 books of translations. He was honored with the Hungarian Beat Poet Laureate Lifetime award in 2020 by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. based in Connecticut. He writes poetry in English and Hungarian.

Béla Ágoston is a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer. His main instrument at Jazz Poetry performances is the saxophone. His free music experience has become a tradition as the leader of the South Lowland Saxophone Ensemble. Literature, theatre and contemporary dance are constantly present as a source for his music.

Kinga Tóth is a writer, visual poet and sound poet, performer, teacher and translator. She writes in Hungarian, German and English, and presents her work in performances, exhibitions, international installations and festivals. She is also a philologist and a teacher. She gives lectures and organizes workshops internationally, as well as working as a copy editor for art magazines and as a cultural program organizer. Toth’s international publications include poetry collections, visual art catalogs, novels and music records. She has joined several artist-writer residencies (IWP, LCB, GEDOK, Bosch, Solitude etc.) and is member of several art organisations. In 2018/2019 she was the City Writer in Graz and in 2019/2020 she worked on her new intermedia text project as a writer-artist in residence by Landis&Gyr Stiftung in Zug (Switzerland). In 2020 Kinga Tóth received the Hugo Ball Förderpreis for her intermedia literary work in German language and also received the Bernard Heidsieck Prix (by Centre Pompidou and Foundation Bonotto) for her performative literary work. In 2021 she is artist in residence in Villa Waldberta-Feldafing und in AIR Krems. Her visual works are exhibited in Tallin, Igor Metropol gallery and in Centre Pompidou.

Péter Závada was born in 1982 in Budapest. He holds degrees in English and Italian from ELTE University, and Theatre Studies from the Károli Gáspár Protestant University in Budapest. He is currently a PhD student in ELTE's Esthetics Doctoral Programme. His plays have been performed in the Katona József, Örkény and Trafó theatres in Budapest. He has been publishing poems since 2009, in Hungarian literary journals such as Jelenkor, Élet és Irodalom, Alföld and Műút. He is the recipient of many literary prizes, such as the Horváth Péter Literary Scholarship, and the Szép Ernő Prize for Playwrights. His most recent collection of poems, Gondoskodás (Caring) was published by Jelenkor Publishing House in 2021.

Ádám Nádasdy was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1947, and lives there. He has a degree in English and Italian, and a PhD in phonology. He taught English as a foreign language, then for many years he was at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), teaching English linguistics. He has published scholarly studies on Hungarian and English, and is a well-known columnist for various papers, writing for the public about issues of language and society. He has published seven poetry volumes, and one book of short stories. His translations into Hungarian include several Shakespeare plays, as well as Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The HANEM Women’s Band appeared on Budapest stages with a revival of musical cabaret. They play tango, chansons and world hits, collecting and reworkinng their favourites from the best urban folkore of the of 20th and 21st century. With fresh reactions to world events, they reinterpret and rewrite the songs. Hungarian authors like Lajos Parti Nagy, Katalin Szlukovényi and Zsófia Bán help them with lyrics. The band consist of  Kriszta Bíró (actress), Márta Murányi (actress, singer), Lídia Nádori (literary translator), Zsófi Rick (photographer, journalist), Ági Sváb (teacher).

Gábor Schein was born in 1969 in Budapest, where he lives today. He is a writer of poetry and fiction, as well as a critic and translator of German poetry. He is a professor in Hungarian literature at the Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest. Schein is the author of nine collections of poetry, various theater plays and a libretto, staged by Munich Opera. He has published five novels. His recent literary publications: Megölni, akit szeretünk (To Kill Who We Love) (short stories) 2013, Márcisuban jaguárok [Jaguars in March?] (poems for children) 2014, Svéd [The Swedish] (novel) 2015, Üdvözlet a kontinens belsejéből [Greetings from Inside of the Continent] (poems) 2017, Megleszünk itt [We Will Still Be Here] (novel) 2019, Ó, rinocérosz [O, Rhinoceros] (verse novel) 2021. Schein was awarded the prestigious Attila József Prize, the Füst Milán- and the Artisjus-Prize. His novels are translated into several languages.

Eszter Orbán is a theatre dramaturg and literary translator. She is the co-president of the Hungarian Theatre Dramaturgs Guild and a member of MEGY (The Association of Hungarian Literary Translators). She started her career as a translator in the film industry working with screenplays, then went on to translate for the theatre. The bulk of her work is translations of opera librettos and plays. She is also very active in the Hungarian literary scene, especially mentoring playwrights and being one of the organizers of the Open Forum of Contemporary Drama, a year-long play development program, now in its sixth year.

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