Ivan Blatný

Poet, son of the writer Lev Blatný (1894-1930). Born in Brno, he spent the first part of his life here – before escaping into exile in 1948. He lived in a house...

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František Halas

Poet, translator and publicist, Brno born, spent his childhood and youth here. He learned the bookseller’s trade from A. Píša and for a brief period (1919–1921)...

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Oldřich Mikulášek

Poet and publicist. Lived in Brno from 1937 until his death, latterly at Mášova street. He is linked to several cultural institutions (the Brno studios of Czechoslovak...

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Jaroslav Seifert

Poet, publicist, memoirist. The first – and so far the only Czech to receive the Nobel prize for Literature. In addition to the lasting popularity he won through...

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Jan Skácel

Poet, writer, editor and translator. Spent most of his life in Brno and is closely linked to a number of Brno cultural institutions (the magazine Host do domu...

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Vít Slíva

Poet and schoolteacher. His connection to Brno dates back to his university days. Apart from one interlude, he has been living to this day at Poděbradova street....

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Places (in alphabetical order)

Pavel Švanda


An essayist, prose writer, poet, film and literary critic and publicist.  Belongs to the “thirtysixers” generation. Born in Znojmo, but almost his entire life has been connected with Brno. It was here that he went to grammar school and the Philosophical Faculty (art history), though he dropped his studies in 1958 for personal reasons. He went on to be e.g. the head of a cinema and an editor at the Host do domu magazine; after it closed down he took up a series of manual labour professions. After 1989 he worked as an editor at several periodicals; since 1994 he has been teaching at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) His debut was in 1967 (Anonymní povídky/Anonymous Tales/), followed up after 1990 with other books (of prose, poetry and essays); notable among them – not least as regards life in Brno – are his memoirs Paměť esejisty (Memoirs of an Essayist, 2006).

The author and the places of his/her poems

Hády (Hády Hill)

The poem and the place

Report from Husovice

a short and skew-slanted bone shadow
by the suburban wall yellow
a lime quarry waits for Cézanne
and the paper wraps of overpasses
and the secret disgrace of concrete underpasses
over there to that little church
to sing they often did go
back in the day another race too
we of today aging somewhat outspoken
the scar mountain still thinks of Cézanne
who’s doing his own calcifying
and quite somewhere else
with all the ill-pace of a Sunday afternoon
under the viaduct echoes
this is quite some place to die
that much I’ll tell you

                                          translated by Václav Pinkava


Švanda, Pavel: Na obou březích (On both banks), Brno: Atlantis 1996, s. 54.


Jiří Trávníček  -   travnicek@ucl.cas.cz
Michal Fránek  -   franek@ucl.cas.cz

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