translated from the Romanian by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Ileana Mǎlǎncioiu (b. 1940) originally trained as an accountant, but later began to write poetry. She has degrees in philosophy and has also worked in journalism and films. From Pǎsǎrea Tǎiatǎ (The Slaughtered Fowl, 1967) onward, her poems draw on rural life and folklore, on religious and literary icons; but their true focus has been on the trauma of history. Her tenth collection, Urcarea Muntelui (Climbing the mountain), was heavily censored on its first appearance in 1985, and reappeared in its full form only after the change of regime. Mǎlǎncioiu's writing is valued in Romania as a moral force. A courageous critic of the former political masters of her country, she has also been forthright in her responses to the new order.
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (b. 1942) is a poet and Emeritus Professor of English, Trinity College, Dublin, where she has taught since 1966. With Macdara Woods, Leland Bardwell and Pearse Hutchinson, she is the co-founder of literary magazine Cyphers. Her Selected Poems was published by Gallery Press and Faber in 2008; her latest book, The Sun-Fish, was awarded the Griffin International Prize for poetry in 2010. She has translated poetry from several languages, in particular The Water Horse from the Irish of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, with Medbh McGuckian, and After the Raising of Lazarus and Legend of the walled-up wife from the Romanian of Ileana Mălăncioiu. She is currently working on translations from Italian.