Bronislava Volkova

Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 339-3618

Author's Bio

Bronislava Volková is a bilingual poet, translator, collagist, Professor Emerita of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature and former Director of the Czech Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. She went into exile in 1974, taught at the Universities of Cologne and Marburg and subsequently at Harvard and University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She has published ten books of existential and metaphysical poetry in Czech and several bilingual (Czech-English) editions. She is also the author of two books on linguistic and literary semiotics (Emotive Signs in Language, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 1987 and A Feminist’s Semiotic Odyssey through Czech Literature, Edwin Mellen Press, 1997) and a large anthology of Czech poetry translations Up The Devil’s Back: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry (with Clarice Cloutier), 2008. Her scholarly publications include topics of Czech poetry, Czech popular culture, issues of exile, gender, implied author values and emotive signs. In 2011, her collected poems were published in Czech Republic under the title Vzpomínky moře (The Sea Recalls). Her poetry has been translated into ten languages and she has received a number of literary and cultural awards. More info at: E-mail:

Publications and Prizes

A Certain Absence/bilingual
(Explorer Editions, 2003)
, And Drink We Will from Delectable Wells...
(Explorer Editions, 2010)
, Born out of Darkness, English Twin
(Explorer Editions, 2005)
, Courage of the Rainbow
(Sheep Meadow Press, 1993)
, Prison Notes Smuggled into the Ears of Seafoam
(Mellen Poetry Press, 1999)
, Promeny/Transformations
(Explorer Editions, 2001)
, Shattered Worlds, selected poems in Czech
(Votobia, 1995)
, Vstup do svetla/Entering Light
(Explorer Editions, 2002)
, Ze tmy zrozená (Czech twin)
(Explorer Editions, 2004)
Mizmor L'David Anthology, Vol I: The Shoa
(Poetica Publishing Company, 2008)
, Only the Sea Keeps
(Rupa & Co., 2005)
, Only the Sea Keeps
(Bayeux Arts, 2005)
, The Slightest Reminder of Your Being...Three Decades of Exile:1974-2004
(Explorer Editions, 2005)
, The Writer Uprooted (Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature)
(Indiana University Press, 2008)
, Transformations, a chaplet, No. 91
(Backwoods Broadsides, 2005)
, Vespers: Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary American Poetry
(Iowa University Press, 2003)
Metamorphoses, Midwest Poetry Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, Visions, Witness, World Literature Today
Prizes Won: 
George Gall Memorial Award Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture and Scholarship by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) Prague. Award for Lifetime Poetic Work and Long Term Work for the Cultural Exchange among the Slavs from the Syndicate of Bulgarian Teachers, Varna

Reviews, Recordings, and Interviews

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Czech American, Jewish
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Decin, Czech Republic
Raised in: 
Prague, Czech Republic
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Last updated: Nov 12, 2015