HISTORY AND MISSION

> About the Translators


IVY PRESS: A SMALL PRESS WITH A MISSION. 
To introduce Bulgarian poetry to English speaking poetry lovers.
* To built a bridge between eight million Bulgarians
and hundreds of millions of English speakers.


Good translations are essential. English readers must forget that they are reading translations. But the original flavor must stay: diction singularities, rhythm, images and metaphors.

The process requires many versions and a great deal of time. Ivy Press owner and translator, Ludmilla G. Popova-Wightman has dedicated the last 25 years to this project. Training at Princeton University's Translation Seminar with its remarkable teachers, Edmund Keeley, Paul Auster, Magda Bogin, Paul Muldoon; working with the leading poets of Bulgaria, Konstantin Pavlov, Blaga Dimitrova and, through them, meeting most of the important contemporary Bulgarian poets.

This singular access has generated the impetus to translate and publish their poetry in leading American journals (The New York Review of Books, The Partisan Review, The Literary Review, Poetry East, Visions International, ...) and to create a small anthology, included in Shifting Borders: East European Poetry of the Eighties [Compiled and Edited by Walter Cummins. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992].

With several poetry manuscripts in hand Popova-Wightman decided to design, print and publish the books herself, starting Ivy Press. The books are printed in Bulgaria, creating jobs and disseminating quality bilingual books among the many Bulgarians of all ages who are studying English.

In the USA, Ivy Press aspires to build a bridge between the two cultures. Bulgaria is usually mentioned in the press with uncomplimentary associations. Through poetry, the "soul of a nation", we hope that American readers can become better acquainted with this ancient nation.


A BIT OF HISTORY:
Bulgaria was created in 681. The name came from the Asian tribes, the Bulgars, who came to the Balkan Peninsula, mixed with the aboriginal Slavic population and organized it. They adopted Christianity in 865. Bulgarians gave Slavs their alphabet, the Kirilitsa - the Cyrillic alphabet used today. Bulgarian literature originated in the tenth century. The invasion of the Ottoman Turks in Fourteenth Century and their five-century occupation didn't succeed in destroying the national identity of Bulgarians. The national resurgence began in 1762 with the work of a monk, Paisii who wrote the first history of the Bulgarians. The country became independent in 1878. After the liberation, education, literature, and the arts flourished. Particularly interesting was the development of literature in the period between the two wars. In 1945, the Soviet army occupied the country. Many writers, journalists, historians... perished in the first wave of communist terror. In the sixties, during the April thaw, which gave relative freedom to writers for a few years, came the interesting work of Blaga Dimitrova, and the much younger Konstantin Pavlov. They came from different backgrounds, but they shared a love of freedom and had close ties to their people.

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