Interview Anatoly Kudryavitsky engl.
with Anatoly Kudryavitsky
Signaturen-Magazin.de has recently started featuring translations of poems originally published in the first issue of SurVision, an online magazine for surrealist poetry, whose founder and editor you are. What motivated you to set up this project?
The year 2004 marked the publication of the last issue of Exquisite Corpse, the excellent Surrealist literary magazine that had been published since 1983 in Louisiana, USA, under the editorship of Andrei Codrescu and Laura Rosenthal. Its demise left a void that I felt was needed to be filled. I see SurVision as a platform for creative exchanges between Surrealist-minded poets from all over the world. SurVision aims to be very international in its scope.
How did the authors of the first issue find their way to SurVision? You are based in Ireland, the magazine contains texts by Irish as well as international authors. What is the ratio between the two in issue 1? Are there also non-native English-writing authors among them?
Many of the poets published in our #1 have been invited to contribute, some others have been recommended by the editor’s poet friends, and the rest of the material we’ve published came from open submissions. Talking about our #2, the sources of nearly all of the poems were open submissions. Only two out of the 34 poets contributing for our debut issue are from Ireland; the rest of them come from Australia, Canada, England, Romania, Scotland, Ukraine and the USA. I have since been trying to attract more Irish poets to SurVIsion, and I’ve already secured contributions from nine Irish poets for our #2, as well as poems by American, Australian, Bulgarian, Canadian, Georgian, Kosovan and Puerto Rican authors. Obviously, a few of them write in languages other than English, and so we publish them in translation.
Which criteria do you apply when selecting the texts for SurVision? In your view, what makes a good surrealist poem? And what does the term 'surrealist' itself entail for you?
The editor’s taste is eclectic, and so we aim to publish the best, most exciting Surrealist poetry of different trends and schools being written these days. Traditionally, Surrealism is believed to express the workings of the unconscious by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of content. At SurVision, we appreciate rich language and honed poetic skills; at the same times we are not huge fans of meaningless poems. We have a soft spot for poetic experiments, but we believe that such an experiment has to be successful in order to beget publishable texts. The reader will probably notice that we prefer poems that create distinct visual images to abstract Surrealist poems. We occasionally publish prose poems, as well as Surrealism-related visual poetry.
What are the plans for issue 2? How do you envision the future of the magazine?
Our #2 is practically ready, and, all going well, will be posted online in early January 2018. As of today, we have contributions from the same number of poets as in our first issue, i.e. 34, however submissions are still open, which means that we may accept more quality poems for publication. We post SurVision biannualy, so our #3 is scheduled for the end of June 2018.
questions asked by Timo Brandt and Cornelia Hülmbauer