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Below is my full Curriculum Vitae, together with relevant links.

George Szirtes

Born in Budapest on 29 November 1948.
Came to England as refugee on 2 December 1956

Prizes and Honours

1980 Faber Memorial Prize for The Slant Door
1982 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
1984 Arts Council Travelling Scholarship,
1986 Cholmondeley Prize
1990 Déry Prize for Translation The Tragedy of Man
1991 Gold Star of the Hungarian Republic
1992 Short listed for Whitbread Poetry Prize for Bridge Passages
1995 European Poetry Translation Prize for New Life
1996 Shortlisted for Aristeion Translation Prize New Life
1999 Sony Bronze Award, 1999 - for contribution to BBC Radio Three, Danube programmes
1999 Shortlisted for Weidenfeld Prize for The Adventures of Sindbad
2000 Shortlisted for Forward Prize Single Poem: Norfolk Fields
2002 George Cushing Prize for Anglo-Hungarian Cultural Relations
2002 Society of Authors Travelling Scholarship
2003 Leverhulme Research Fellowship
2004 Pro Cultura Hungarica medal
2005 T. S. Eliot Prize, for Reel
2005 Shortlisted for Weidenfeld Prize for the Night of Akhenaton
2005 Shortlisted for Popescu Translation Prize for The Night of Akhenaton
2007 Laureate Prize, Days and Nights of Poetry Festival, Romania
2008 Bess Hokin Prize (USA) Poetry Foundation



1978 Poetry Introduction 4 with Craig Raine, Alan Hollinghurst, Alistair Elliott, Anne Cluysenaar and Cal Clothier (Faber & Faber)
1979 The Slant Door (Secker & Warburg)
1981 November and May (Secker & Warburg)
1984 Short Wave (Secker & Warburg)
1986 The Photographer in Winter (Secker & Warburg)
1988 Metro (OUP)
1991 Bridge Passages (OUP,)
1994 Blind Field (OUP)
1996 Selected Poems (OUP)
1997 The Red All Over Riddle Book (Faber, for children)
1998 Portrait of my Father in an English Landscape (OUP,)
2000 The Budapest File (Bloodaxe)
2001 An English Apocalypse (Bloodaxe)
2004 A Modern Bestiary with artist Ana Maria Pacheco (Pratt Contemporary Art)
2004 Reel (Bloodaxe)
2008 The Burning of the Books (Circle)
2008 New and Collected Poems (Bloodaxe)
2008 Shuck, Hick, Tiffey: Three Regional Libretti (Gatehouse)
2009 The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (Bloodaxe)
The Poetry Quartets 6, with Moniza Alvi, Michael Donaghy and Anna Stevenson (Bloodaxe / British Council 2001)
The Poetry Archive: George Szirtes (The Poetry Archive, 2005)


1989 Imre Madách: The Tragedy of Man, verse play (Corvina / Puski 1989)
1989 Sándor Csoóri: Barbarian Prayer. Selected Poems. (part translator, Corvina 1989)
1989 István Vas: Through the Smoke. Selected Poems. (editor and part translator, Corvina, 1989)
1991 Dezsö Kosztolányi: Anna Édes. Novel. (Quartet, 1991)
1993 Ottó Orbán: The Blood of the Walsungs. Selected Poems. (editor and majority translator, Bloodaxe, 1993)
1994 Zsuzsa Rakovszky: New Life. Selected Poems. (editor and translator, OUP March, 1994)
1996 The Colonnade of Teeth: Twentieth Century Hungarian Poetry (anthology, co-editor and translator, Bloodaxe 1996)
1998 The Lost Rider: Hungarian Poetry 16-20th Century, an anthology, editor and chief translator (Corvina, 1998)
1999 Gyula Krúdy: The Adventures of Sindbad short stories (CEUP, 1999)
1999 László Krasznahorkai: The Melancholy of Resistance (Quartet, 1999)
2003 The Night of Akhenaton: Selected Poems of Ágnes Nemes Nagy (editor-translator, Bloodaxe)
2004 Sándor Márai: Conversation in Bolzano (Knopf / Random House, 2004)
2004 László Krasznahorkai: War and War (New Directions, 2005)
2005 Sándor Márai: Rebels (Knopf / Random House)
2008 Ferenc Karinthy: Metropole (Telegram)
2008 Sándor Márai: Esther?s Inheritance (Knopf/ Random House)
2009 László Krasznahorkai: Satantango (New Directions)
2009 Sándor Márai: The Intended (Knopf / Random House)

As Editor

The Collected Poems of Freda Downie (editor, Bloodaxe 1995)
New Writing 10, Anthology of new writing co-edited with Penelope Lively (Picador 2001)
Birdsuit, nine anthologies of writing from NSAD, 1991-1999 (NSAD/Starwheel)
An Island of Sound: Hungarian fiction and poetry at the point of change (co-editor) Harvill 2004

Other Books

Exercise of Power: the Art of Ana Maria Pacheco (Lund Humphries, 2001)
George Szirtes: Selected Prose (Salt, 2005)

Major anthologies represented in:
only some of the more significant books mentioned

The Music of What Happens (BBC 1981)
Penguin Book of British Poetry Since 1945 (Penguin,
The Hutchinson Book of Post-War British Poetry (Hutchinson )
Trees Be Company (Bristol Classical Press, 1989)
The Amis Anthology (Arena, 1989)
The New Poetry (Bloodaxe, 1993)
Sing Freedom (Faber 1991)
The Firebox (Picador, 1999) and many others inc anthologies abroad of British Poetry
New Writing 2, New Writing 5, New Writing 8, New Writing 10 various publishers
Extravagant Strangers, ed Caryl Phillips (Faber, 1997);
Generations (Penguin, 1998)
Last Words: New Poetry for the New Century (Picador, 1999)
Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain Since 1945 (Five Leaves 2001);
The Forward Book of Poetry, 2000
The Forward Book of Poetry 2002
Poems of the Decade (Forward, 2001)
Staying Alive (Bloodaxe 2002)
Poems on the DART (Dublin, 2000)
Poems on the Underground (London, 2002)

Poems and essays in anthologies or publications abroad:

Short Fuse Rattapallax, (Canada 2002)
Matrix (Canada, 2002)
Shanghai Book Review (China 2002)
Romania Literara (Romania 2002)
Metre (Ireland, Czech Republic, 2002)
The Shop (Ireland, 2001)
The Dublin Review (Ireland 2001)
The Honest Ulsterman (Ireland 1996)
La Polygraphe Editions Comp-Act, (France 2000)
Lettre Internationale Romania, (1998)
Giovane Poesia Inglese, Edizione del Leone (Italy, 1996)
Umweltschutz, Wie? K Gutke Verlag (Germany, 1992)
Het Europa van de Dichter European Poetry Festival (Belgium, 1991)
Versek Europa, Hungary 1987 (+ many other Hungarian publications)
The Hudson Review (USA 2001)
The Jacaranda Review (Australia, 1995)
The poem ‘English Words’ was chosen as subject for international translation competition 2001-2002 by The British Council in Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, China


Works for Music and Stage

The Bee-boy of Selbourne, libretto and production, music by Teresa Hyde (1975)
Cauchemar, libretto and production, music by Teresa Hyde (1976)
Wenceslas, libretto and production, music by Margaret Riches (1976)
Hameln, libretto and production, music by Paul Rooke (1977)
Bear Dance, play and production (1978)
The Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke, libretto, music by Paul Rooke (1979)
By the Light of the Silvery Moon, play and production (1980)
Back Street, libretto and production, music by Tony Parry (1982)
The Dog’s Dinner, libretto and production, music by Tony Parry (1983)
The Mouse and His Child, libretto and production, music by Tony Parry (1985)
Biglips, libretto and production, music by Tony Parry (1987)
Bloody Opera, play and production, (1981)
Seaside Gothic, play and production (1984)
Revolution, play and production (1986)
The Rocking Horse Winner, libretto, music by Richard Lambert (music unfinished) (1988)
Air Kissing, oratorio, music by Jane Wells (2000)

TV and Radio work:

Various appearances on Poetry Now BBC3, 1976-1985
Water Snow and Ice - 30 minute programme of three long poems for BBC3, 1986
The Underground in the Underground - 20 minute programme, journalism, BBC4, 1989
Funereal Voices - 20 minute prgramme, journalism from Budapest, BBC4, 1989
Reviewer, critic, participantor subject of item or review in the following BBC programmes, Radios 3 and 4:
Kaleidoscope, Third Ear, Night Waves, A Good Read, Best Words, Centurions 1980-1999
Transylvana - long poem,15 minutes, for BBC3, 1995
October 1956 - 45 minute poem-documentary for BBC3, 1995
Portrait of my Father in an English Landscape - long poem plus intro for BBC3, July 1997
Danube and A River Runs Through It - series of five programmes on the Danube, BBC Radio 3, 1998
Auden and Europe - BBC Radio 3, 1999
Lullaby of Broadway - 20 minute long poem with music, BBC Radio 3, 1999
The Old Scouts - 10 minute radio poem with music, BBC Radio 3, 2 January 2000
Exiles - Radio 4, 30 May 2000
Sonnets and Haikus for National Poetry Day - Radio 3, Radio 4, October 2000
Fine Lines, with Moniza Alvi and Christopher Cook, BBC4 February 2001
Work in Progress: BBC 3 March 2001
Five talks for Lyric FM, Ireland, September 2001
The Verb: BBC4 2002
Work in Progress, BBC Radio 4, 2001
Killing Me Softly, BBC4 2004
The John Tusa Interview, BBC3 2005

also many appearances on Hungarian radio, Irish radio, New Zealand radio and various European radio stations

Featured in A Dragon’s Print, BBC1, 1983
Writers Abroad 1 hour long documentary for Hungarian television, 1995
Great Yarmouth, television poem for National Poetry Day, BBC 2000
BBC Breakfast Programme, 2005
BBC, Look East, 2005
BBC4, The World, 2005

Critical Writing and related

Articles and Essays

Articles, reviews and extended essays on subjects including:
contemporary poetry
contemporary fiction
contemporary works of translation
modern art
contemporary art
essays on art and art educaation
essays on literature
essays on translation
artists’ books
urban history and topography
over several years, from 1980 for the following magazines:
The Times, The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Quarto, The Literary Review, The New Statesman, Critical Quarterly, Poetry Review, Critical Survey, Modern Painters, Contemporary Art, Print Now, Metre, The Dublin Review, The Hungarian Quarterly and many others, too many to list and some certainly forgotten. Selection to be collected and published, see ‘To Appear’ above.

The Oxford Companion to Literature in Translation: author of Hungarian section (OUP, 1999)
The Babel Guide to Hungarian Literature contributor (Babel, 2001)

Book Introductions

There is a Land: Selected Poems of Sándor Kányádi (Corvina, 2000)
Sándor Petõfi: John the Valiant / János Vitéz (Corvina, 1999)
Miklós Radnóti: Camp Notebook (Arc, 2000)
The Song of Solomon (Circle Press, )
The Least Thing: An Anthology of Christian Writing, ed Angela Topping ( The Greenbelt Files, 1989)
Zsuzsa Beney: Between Words and Silence ?, (2001)
I Am God’s Goldfish (1999)
Budapest Link: New Hungarian Writing, ed. Zilahy, Prescott, Kéry (World Literature Series, JAK 2002)
Sándor Petõfi: John the Valiant / János Vitéz (New edition, new introduction, Hesperus, 2004)

In addition the following books by George Szirtes carry his own introductions, commentaries or accompanying essays
The Tragedy of Man
The Blood of the Walsungs
New Life
Anna Édes
The Adventures of Sindbad
The Budapest File
An English Apocalypse
The Night of Akhenaton
An Island of Sound

As Judge of Competitions

The Faber Prize 1984
The Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, 1981
The European Poetry Translation Prize 1996
The National Poetry Prize 1986
The Bridport Prize 1999
The TS Eliot Prize for Poetry, 2003
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, 2003

The Foyle's young Poets Competition, 2005

Articles and essays on work by GS

The Longman Dictionary of Poets, ed Bold (Longman, 1985)
The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry, ed Hamilton (OUP, 1994)
The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Literature in English, ed Stringer (OUP, 1996)
and other reference books such as People of Today, The St James Directory of Poets and Poetry tec
A Brightness to Cast Shadows: Exile and Photographic Memory in the Poetry of George Szirtes, Michael Murphy, English vol. 51 No 201, Autumn 2002
* Also subject of two PhD dissertations
See selected reviews, articles etc in UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Romania, Italy

Articles and essays for catalogues / Collaborations with artists:

Bad Boss: Jan Mladovsky (British Council, 1997)
The Longest Journey: Ana Maria Pacheco (Pratt Contemporary Art / The Gas Hall, Birmingham)
Carl Laubin (2002)
Circle Press
Graham Stewart: Shredded and Pulped (NSAD, 2000)
Emma Rose (2000)
Graham Giles (2002)
Rosie Snell (1999)

Critical Work about George Szirtes

Poetry and Exile: A study of the poetry of W.H. Auden, Joseph Brodsky & George Szirtes. Michael Murphy (Greenwich Exchange, 2004)
Reading George Szirtes. John Sears (Bloodaxe, scheduled 2008)


Exhibitions of own visual work:

Four Students, The Lane Gallery, Bradford, 1970
Sweet Street, Leeds, 1971
Leeds at the ICA, 1972
The Starwheel Press at The Poetry Society, London, 1979
The Open and Closed Book, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1979
The Starwheel Press, Bingen, Germany 1983

As Artist / Illustrator
many publications, only more substantial works listed here

Visitors: portfolio of five etchings and poems by George Szirtes (The Mandeville Press, 1976)
An Illustrated Alphabet: twenty six poems, thirteen double etchings by George Szirtes (The Mandeville Press, 1978)
John Cotton: The Poetry File, as co-illustrator with Clarissa Upchurch (Macmillan, 1989)

The Starwheel Press*

*Co-proprietor and co-editor with Clarissa Upchurch, working mostly as artist. Works in various private and public collections

A Starwheel Portfolio (1978)
poems by John Mole, John Gohorry, ; etchings by CU, GS, Paul Martin
The Transparent Room (1979)
poems by John Cotton, Wendy Freeman, B.C.Leale, Peter Porter, Peter Scupham; etchings by James Parfitt, Cherry Hall, GS, Paul Martin, CU
Strict Seasons (1980)
poems by James Berry, John Ormond, Emma Rose, Fred Sedgwick, Anne Stevenson; etchings by Helen Hawley, Mary Norman, CU, Corridan Graddon, GS
Spring Offensive (1981)
poems by Wendy Cope, Christopher Hope, Jeremy Hooker, Jenny Joseph. Lotte Kramer; etchings by CU, Corridan Graddon, Bruce Glasser, David Donne, GS
The Kissing Place (1982)
poems by George Szirtes; etchings by Clarissa Upchurch
Cloud Station (1983)
poems by Lyn Dawes, Christopher Piilling, Rodney Pybus, William Scammell, David Scott; etchings by Michael Murfin, Peter Jaques, CU, GS, Mary Norman
States of Undress (1984)
poems by Annemarie Austin, Vernon Scannell, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Craig Raine, Giles Scupham; etchings by CU, Emma Rose, Elizabeth Scott, Hilary Rosen, Michael Murfin

Travel and Appearances

Major Festivals and Conferences

Cambridge Poetry Festival
Edinburgh Book Festival (twice)
Poetry International Festival at the South Bank, London (twice)
Cheltenham Festival of Literature (three times)
Aldeburgh Poetry Festival (twice)
Shrewsbury Poetry Festival
Brighton Poetry Festival
Ledbury Poetry Festival
Essex Poetry Festival
Norwich Festival
King’s Lynn Poetry Festival
Wells Festival
Barbican, London: Hungarian Festival, Magyarok
London: National Gallery
London: the Tate Gallery
in Ireland
Listowel Festival (three times)
Galway Festival
Eigse Festival, Limerick
Clifden Festival
several readings in Dublin

Leuven International Poetry Festival
Struga (Macedonia) International Poetry Festival
British Writers Tour, Arizona, USA
Visiting Writer, Paris
Visiting Writer, Athens
British Council Tour, Romania / Oradea Conference
Constanza Conference: Literature and Conflict, Romania
Brussels Conference: Whose History Is It Anyway, Belgium
India: Katha Festival
Germany: Walberberg, 2004
Germany: Dusseldorf, Munster, Freizburg, Regensburg, 2004
Greece: Klandestini Project 2004
USA: New York, Colorado Springs, Atlanta, Chicago 2004
Montreal, Bleu, 2005
Germany: Cologne, Bonn, Bremen, Berlin, 2005
USA: Harvard, 2005
Budapest: British Council Scholar, and visiting writer (several times, see residencies)

Residencies and Fellowships

British Council Scholarship, Hungary, 10 weeks, 1985
British Council Scholarship, Hungary, 10 weeks, 1987
British Council Scholarship, Hungary, 9 months, 1989
Writer in residence, Downham Market, 1998
Tutor in residence, Paris, WICE, 1999
First International Writer Fellow, Trinity College, Dublin (3 months) 2000
Writer in Residence, John Hewitt Summer School, N Ireland (1 week) 2002
Writer in Residence, Tonbridge School, UK (1 week) 2002
Writer in Residence, BCLT Summer School, Girton College (1 week) Cambridge 2002
Writer in Residence, Open University, November 2002

Education and Appointments

Membership of Committees, Positions of Responsibility

As external examiner:
MA in Writing (Nottingham Trent University)
BA in Humanities, City and Guilds
From 2004: External examiner on MPhil in Creative Writing, Trinity College, Dublin

Also currently:
Patron of the National Academy of Writing, 2002
One of three named Mentors for Arvon / Jerwood scheme for younger poets (others: Carol Rumens, Christopher Reid) 2003
On Advisory Panel of the British Centre for Literary Translation, 2002-
Advisory Board of Poetry Book Society, 2004-


1960 - 1968 Kingsbury County Grammar School: 4 A levels, 8 O levels
1968 - 1969 Harrow School of Art Foundation certificate
1969 - 1972 Leeds College of Art and Design BA (1st Hons) in Fine Art
Travelling Scholarship (Italy)
Art History Prize
1972 - 1973 Goldsmiths College, U of London ATC
2002 APU PhD by Publication

Posts Held

1973 - 1974

Teacher of Art (p/t) Cheshunt School, Herts
Teaching evening classes in literature, Hitchin College

1974 - 1975

Teacher of English (p/t) Hitchin School
Teaching evening classes in literature, Hitchin College

1975 - 1981

Head of Art, Hitchin Girls School
Teaching on Arvon Foundation (almost every year since 1980)

1980 - 1984

On Literature Panel of (then) Eastern Arts Board

1982 - 1989

Director of Art, St Christopher School, Letchworth

1989 - 1992

Director, then teacher of art on pro rata basis

1989 - 1991

Visiting lecturer Norwich School of Art and Design

1991 - 1994

Set up Creative Writing course for BA Cultural Studies, NSAD, teaching p/t

1994 -

0.5 SL, Co-ordinator of Creative Writing. BA Cultural Studies, NSAD

1996 - 1997

Board of Norwich Puppet Theatre

1997 - 2000

Chair of Board of Norwich Puppet Theatre (retire from board 2002)


International Writer Fellow, Trinity College, Dublin

2000 - 2003

External Examiner, BA Humanities, City & Guilds

2000 - 2004

External Examiner, MA in Writing, Nottingham Trent University


Appointed Patron of British Academy of Writing

2002 -

Setting up MA in Writing the Visual, NSAD as Pathway Leader

2002 -

Lecturing p/t MA in Creative Writing, UEA


Appointed one of four national Mentors in Poetry, The Arvon Foundation (with Jo Shapcott, Christopher Reid and Andrew Motion)


Appointed to advisory panel of the British Centre for Literary Translation

2004 - 2007

External Examiner, MPhil in Creative Writing, Trinity College, Dublin