About the Author
Volková has started publishing poetry after she went to exile in Poetry Abroad (PmD), Munich, where she published her first six collections in Czech. A selection from these poems appeared in Votobia, Olomouc in 1995 under the title Roztříštěné světy (Shattered Worlds). In English, her selected poems were published by Sheep Meadow Press, New York in 1993 under the title Courage of the Rainbow. Later on, two of the early books appeared bilingually in their entirety as well. Her poetry is reflective, existential and increasingly developing its spiritual dimension.
Currently, she writes and publishes bilingually, e.g.: Proměny/Transformations (2000, 2001) and Vstup do světla/Entering Light (2002), Ze tmy zrozená/Born out of Darkness (2004/2005), A pít budem ze studní lahodných…/And Drink We Will from Delectable Wells… (2010/2011) in limited editions with her own colour collages, predominantly in her Explorer Editions, Bloomington & Prague. These are surrealist and inspirational books focusing in part on the healing of society through the individual on many levels. The civilizational maladies addressed include cultural, national and religious prejudices, race and sexual violence and their far-reaching consequences. The poetry of Volková is a poetry of effort towards spiritual evolution, searching for and finding a higher, unifying principles and universal meaning. Entering Light and Born out of Darkness were produced by her and filmed in Bloomington also as multimedia performances with visual projection of collages, dance and music. A selection from her poetry and translations is also portrayed on a CD The Slightest Reminder of Your Being… (Three Decades of Exile: 1974-2004), 2005 and on a multimedia DVD The Sea Recalls (2013).
The author has been translated into eleven languages and she herself has also translated many Czech poets into English as well as other Slavic poets into Czech. Her large bilingual anthology of translations of Czech poetry of 20th century has appeared under the title Po hřbetě ďábla/Up the Devil’s Back in Slavica Publishers in 2008. Apart from poetry, she also publishes stories and essays on the topic of exile. Her work continues to be widely reviewed and discussed internationally. She appears in various dictionaries of literature and her poetry was the topic of a Master’s thesis by J. Češková (Bronislava Volková – the Poet of Two Worlds, Liberec 1998). Her work was reviewed and commented upon by Bohumil Hrabal, Jiří Holub, Arnošt Lustig, W.S. Merwin, Willis Barnstone, Petr Král, Vladimír Novotný, Igor Hochel, Mojmír Trávníček, Maria Banerjee Němcová among others. She is a member of both Czech and American PEN club and a recipient of several literary awards.