Come to get a taste of post-communist literature in English translations after thirty years of freedom! The Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 has become the symbol of the fall of communist dictatorships in the former Socialist Camp, the home countries of the featured translators included, the dismantling of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War. Translators will read poetry and prose by award-winning writers from former Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Romania.

When: Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:00 pm.

Where: Annex Art Centre, 1075 Bathurst Street @ Dupont St. Toronto, ON M5R 3G8.

Who: The reading will be moderated Diana Manole of  Trent University. Participants include Rachael Daum (Serbian, Russian, and German), Tania Samsonova (Russian), Maša Torbica (Serbian, Serbo-Croatian).

Bios of Translators and Authors
Rachael Daum works as the Communications and Awards Manager of the American Literary Translators Association. Her original work and translations have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Two Lines Journal, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Airship Daily, and elsewhere. She currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Rachael will read poems from A Regatta of Paper Boats, published by Marko Tomaš in 2016. 

  • Marko Tomaš was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1978, educated in present-day Bosnia and Serbia, and is regarded as one of the most influential modern-day poets in the Balkans. He has published nine collections of poetry and his works have been translated into Italian, German, French, and English. Tomaš currently lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Tatiana Samsonova was born in Russia and moved to Canada in 1999. She has published over thirty translations, including works by such prominent authors as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and Antonia Byatt. Tania will read an excerpt from A Light Drizzle by Elena Botchorichvili, a novella depicting the story of three Georgian generations from pre-revolutionary times to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This will be her first translation into English, forthcoming from Quattro Books in 2020. 

  • Elena Botchorichvili was born in Georgia (then part of the Soviet Union) and currently lives in Quebec, while writing short stories in Russian. Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Czech, Romanian, Portuguese, and Georgian. Her characters strive to be happy, but history tramples over people like a tank. In 2016, Botchorichvili was awarded the Russkaya Premia, one of the most prestigious Russian literary honours, for her collection Nothing But to Wait and Watch.

Maša Torbica is a Serbian-Canadian writer, translator, and scholar, as well as a doctoral candidate at the University of Waterloo, specializing in Canadian literature and the rhetoric of decolonization. Her recent work has appeared in The New Quarterly, The Puritan, FreeFall, and Versal. Maša will read several unpublished translations of Danilo Kiš’s poetry and prose. 

  • Often described as one of the most important Central European writers of the twentieth century, Danilo Kiš (1935-1989) was a Yugoslav citizen of mixed (Jewish, Hungarian, Serbian, and Montenegrin) ethnic background. He received numerous national and international awards for his literary work but was forced to move to France after the controversy surrounding his short story collection A Tomb for Boris Davidovich (1976), a postmodern critique of human rights violations under communist and totalitarian regimes.

Diana Manole is a Romanian-Canadian scholar and literary translator, and the award-winning author of nine books of poetry and drama in her home country. She has translated or co-translated seven poetry collections, including Nora Iuga’s The Hunchbacks’ Bus (Bitter Oleander Press, 2016), which was longlisted for the American Literary Translators Association’s 2017 National Translation Award in Poetry. Diana will read her recent translations of Iuga’s poems once censored by the communist regime. 

  • Nora Iuga is one of Romania’s most important and original poets. Her second book, The Circle’s Captivity (1970) was accused by Communist censors of disseminating “morbid eroticism” and as a result Iuga was banned from publishing between 1971 and 1978. To date, she has published seven books of prose and nineteen collections of poems, including the award-winning Opinions on Pain (1980), which gathered poems clandestinely written on napkins during the ban.

The event is funded by the Literary Translators Association of Canada (LTAC) and will include members of the LTAC and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

For more information, please contact Diana Manole at