The Drug of Art: Selected Poems

The Drug of Art: Selected Poems

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Lost to the world for decades, Ivan Blatný was, according to the Czech Ministry of Culture, “one of the most significant Czech poets of the twentieth century.” Blatný fled Czechoslovakia after the Communist coup in 1948, spending the rest of his life in England. This volume is the first major collection of Blatný’s work in English, spanning fifty years of his poetry.

Edited by Veronika Tuckerová.

Translated by Justin Quinn, Matthew Sweney and Alex Zucker, with a Foreword by Josef Skvorecky and an Afterword by Antonín Petruzelka.

“In an age where many—rightly—are suspicious of official verse cultures, here is the voice from a true underground.”
Johannes Göransson

Ivan Blatný was born in Brno in 1919. He left Czechoslovakia in 1948 and came to London, spending the rest of his life in Suffolk and Essex. He died in Clacton in 1991.

Veronika Tuckerová lives in Prague and is a specialist in Czech literature.