Daniel Weissbort's anthology is an outstanding guide to the major poets who found a voice for the experience of survival. He focuses on the first post-war generation of Central and East European poets, who wrote in direct response to a war of unprecedented destruction in Europe. Their poetry, especially that of writers in the countries which came under Soviet domination, has both fascinated Western readers and has exercised a vital influence on many poets now writing in English. Many of these twenty-eight poets first came to Western attention twenty or more years ago through translations published in Weissbort's pioneering magazine "Modern Poetry in Translation", and in the "Penguin Modern European Poets" series. Here Daniel Weissbort brings that generation of diverse poets together for the first time setting their work in context and tracing their links and affinities.
Daniel Weissbort, born in 1935, read History at Cambridge and did graduate work at the London School of Economics on the politics of recent Soviet literature. He founded 'Modern Poetry in Translation' with Ted Hughes in 1965, and was on the advisory board of the London Poetry International festivals from 1969 to 1972.