The Mission Gallery News

Literary Evening in Memory of New Zealand Poet Kevin Ireland


On June 22, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m., a literary evening will be held in memory of the New Zealand poet Kevin Ireland - a prominent writer and translator - at the "Mission" gallery of the State Institute for Culture on the initiative of the "Europe and the World" Foundation.

Kevin Ireland (1933-2023) is a writer who devoted a significant part of his life to Bulgarian literature and poetry. Already at the beginning of his career (1959-61), he translated Hristo Botev's poems into English, which translations were published by the "Sofia Press" agency in 1974, and then republished in 1982.

In addition to Botev's work, Kevin Ireland translated a large number of Elisaveta Bagryana's poems, also published by the "Sofia Press" agency in 1970. He also translated Georgi Markov's play "Archangel Michael", which won first prize at the "International theater festival' in Edinburgh in 1974.

Kevin Ireland resided in Bulgaria twice for 20 months, in the period 1959-1961 and briefly in the summer of 1969. During his first stay in Sofia, he married the Bulgarian Donna Marinova, then a student of " Cinema Studies", which helps him with literary translations from Bulgarian.

During the Literary Evening, the journalist Vladimir Dvoretsky will talk about his correspondence with Ireland, as well as his stories about his life in Bulgaria in the 1960s and 1970s. Publications that the poet provided a few months before his death on May 19 of this year will also be shown.

The main highlight of the event, in addition to the translations by Botev and Bagryana, is the writer's memoir ,,Backwards to Forwards: A Memoir", which has not yet been published in Bulgaria, but the audience will have the pleasure of hearing selected excerpts from it, in which he talks about his two stays in Bulgaria, among all the curious meetings with prominent Bulgarian intellectuals at that time.

Keywords Kevin Ireland