Feb 16, 2018
Stephan Delbos is a New England-born writer living in Prague, where he teaches at Anglo-American University and Charles University. His poetry, essays and translations have appeared internationally in journals such as Absinthe, Agni, Oxonian Review, PEN America, and Zoland Poetry. He is the editor of From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology (Litteraria Pragensia, 2011). A collection of visual, music-inspired poems, “Bagatelles for Typewriter,” was exhibited at Prague’s ArtSpace Gallery in May 2012. His first full-length play, “Chetty’s Lullaby,” about the life of trumpet legend Chet Baker, has been produced in New York and San Francisco.
His co-translation of The Absolute Gravedigger, by Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval, was awarded the PEN/Heim Translation grant in 2015 and was published by Twisted Spoon Press. Deaf Empire, his play about Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, was produced by the Prague Shakespeare Company in 2017. He is the author of the poetry chapbook In Memory of Fire (Cape Cod Poetry Review, 2016), and a founding editor of the online literary magazine B O D Y.
I met Stephan at his home in Prague where we talked about why he moved to Prague, American poetry during the cold war, the founding and flourishing of B.O.D.Y., the great poets in From a Terrace in Prague and its functioning as a literary guide to the city, prolific surrealist poet Czech Vítězslav Nezval, the definition of surrealist poetry, the importance of reading and translation to the Czechs and Europeans, the impetus behind writing poems, the poetic tools and real life experiences called upon to create ‘In Memory of Fire,’ and famed Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.