Marta Petreu's first book of poetry in 1981, Bring Verbs, won the Romanian Writers' Union Prize for a debut volume. She has issued five other collections, including Psychic Place (1991), Shameless Poems (1993), The Book of Anger (1997), The Apocalypse According to Marta (1998)-a volume mostly of selected works, the publication of which Romanian reviewers have greeted as a major event-and The Phalanx (2001). Her poetry has been awarded various recognitions including national poetry prizes from both the Writers' Union and the rival Association of Professional Writers in Romania (ASPRO), the Nichita Stanescu and Poesis poetry awards, and prizes from national book fairs in Oradea and Cluj.
Petreu is editor of the much respected cultural magazine Apostrof, founded after the fall of Romania's communist regime. Born in 1955, she is a professor of philosophy at the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj and is the author of two academic books in her field. A selected volume in English, The Book of Anger, translated by Adam J. Sorkin with Christina Illias-Zarifopol and Liviu Bleoca, is currently looking for a publisher. Poems from this book have appeared in Sulfur, Partisan Review, Compost (winner of the 1999 Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize), a special international poetry issue of Mississippi Review, The Bitter Oleander, Salt Hill, The Alembic, The Literary Review, Sorkin's anthology Transylvanian Voices, Massachusetts Review, Beacons, and Paper Street.
In the fall of 1998, Petreu was awarded a residency at the Ledig House International Writers' Colony in Ghent, New York. In 2001, she was honored by a Hellman/Hammett Grant from Human Rights Watch for her role as "a solitary voice of reason in Romania today" and for her criticism of the xenophobic Romanian extreme right and standing up to threats and to a mob attack at a reading.
Adam J. Sorkin recently published Memory Glyphs: Three Prose Poets from Romania, containing works by Cristian Popescu, Iustin Panța and Radu Andriescu (Twisted Spoon, 2009, with various collaborators). Mircea Ivănescu's lines poems poetry (University Press of Plymouth [UK], with Lidia Vianu) and Carmen Firan's Rock and Dew (Sheep Meadow, mostly with Firan) are both forthcoming. His other books include Ruxandra Cesereanu's Crusader-Woman (Black Widow, 2008, mainly with Cesereanu); Magda Cârneci's Chaosmos (White Pine, 2006, with Cârneci); and Mariana Marin's Paper Children (Ugly Duckling, 2006, with various collaborators). Sorkin and Vianu were awarded The Poetry Society's [UK] Translation Prize for Marin Sorescu's Bridge (Bloodaxe, 2004). Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of English, Penn State Brandywine.
Christina Illias-Zarifopol is associate professor of classical studies and Romanian language and culture at Indiana University. Her translations with Adam J. Sorkin of poems by Marta Petreu won the 1999 Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize; selected poems have been published in several literary journals including Mississippi Review, Salt Hill, Massachusetts Review, The Alembic, Paper Street, The Literary Review and Beacons. She has published two books: a volume of previously unknown letters of Mihai Eminescu, Romania's national poet, New Correspondence: Mihai Eminescu-Veronica Micle, (Polirom, 2000), and a study of Pliny the Younger's letters Portrait of a Pragmatic Hero: Narrative Strategies of Self-Presentation in Pliny's Letters (Polirom, 2000).