March 6, 2008 - Hungarian Cultural Center, New York


by the translator Gábor G. Gyukics and Michael Castro

The presentation was part of the reading tour:

January 20 - March 9, 2008

Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco (CA), St. Louis (MO), Dallas (TX),
New Orleans (LA), Savannah (GA), New York (NY), and Washington (DC)


2008 Reading tour with the newest English language poetry book of
Attila Jozsef (1905-1937) titled A Transparent Lion
presented by Gábor G. Gyukics poet, translator

Photos: Gabriella Gyorffy

Regarded by many as Hungary's greatest twentieth-century poet, Atilla József was born in Budapest in 1905 and died, after apparently throwing himself under a train in December of 1937.  

He wrote about the personal and the societal, often with startlingly surreal imagery, or with stark confessional realism. He was writing in intense emotional tones that swung between despair and hope, invigorated old poetic forms with a new freedom, orchestrating his poems with fresh rhythmic patterns influenced by folk music's rhythms as well as their metrics. But he was also influenced by Dadaist and other modernist ideas sweeping Europe, finding a voice that would synthesize the older cultural forms of Hungary with the new experiments of his time. Ted Hughes, writing of Attila József, has referred to the "unconsolable howl of his exposure to what had happened and continued to happen... counterpointed by a strange elation, a savage sort of elation or even joy" .

Gábor G. Gyukics (b. Budapest, 1958) is a Hungarian American poet and literary translator. His works appeared in several magazines and anthologies in the United States, Japan and Europe. He has authored five books of poetry, including Last Smile and A remete többes száma, Lepkék vitrinben, Half-Naked Muse / Félmeztelen múzsa, and six books of translations, including those mentioned above and poetry books by Paul Auster and Ira Cohen. He established the only existing Open Mike reading series in Hungary in 1999. Organized and hosted over 100 Open readings with well known, prize winner and also with young and upcoming poets. His CDs include Sand Snail and The Afterlife of a Book. He also served as an editor for English to Hungarian and Hungarian to English dictionaries.

He received the Füst Milán translator's prize from the Hungarian Academy of Science and the Arts Link Grant in 1999 and a Writer's fellowship from the Hungarian National Cultural Fund in 2007.

Michael Castro (b. New York City, 1945) is a poet and founding editor of River Styx, a thirty year old magazine and arts organization. Castro, whose work appears in many magazines and anthologies, is the author of eight collections of poetry including: The Kokopilau Cycle,Ghost Hiways & Other Homes, The Man Who Looked Into Coltrane’s Horn, and Human Rites (Neshui Publishing, 2002), and Interpreting the Indian: 20th Century Poets and the Native American, a historical study of Native American influences on modern poets. Forthcoming in 2008 are a book of poetry, The Guide (Shulamis Press), and two poetry-music CDs: Deep Mirror, with Joe Catalano; and Kokopilau, with J.D. Parran. He lives in St. Louis, where he hosts the radio program, Poetry Beat, and teaches at Lindenwood University

Gábor G. Gyukics  and Michael Castro co-translated and co-edited Swimming in the Ground: Contemporary Hungarian Poetry (Nehsui Publishing, 2001), a collection of works by forty Hungarian poets, Gypsy Drill (Neshui European edition, 2005), works by the distinguished Gypsy poet, Attila Balogh, and A Transparent Lion: Selected Poems of Attila Jozsef (Green Integer, 2006)

Adelia Parker-Castro, Michael Castro, Gábor G. Gyukics,
and legendary New York downtown poet Steve Dalachinsky

Timea Szabo-Zsedely, Japheth Wood, Sylvia D. Nagy, Gábor G. Gyukics,
Michael Castro, Adelia Parker-Castro, Thomas Lendvai, Steve Dalachinsky,
Jakab Orsós, Anna Pásztor, Eszter Rózsa, Gábor Kovács,
Emese El Bissatiné Pásztor, Alexis Poledouris, and Krisztina Danka