Ana Blandiana: Poet and warrior
– Romania

An author of poetry and prose. Ana Blandiana was born in 1942 and is one of the strongest voices in modern Romanian poetry. She made her debut in the mid-1960s with her collection Persoana întâia plural (First Person Plural). Her subsequent poetry books such as Călcâiul vulnerabil (Achilles Heel), Somnul din somn (The Sleep in the Sleep) moved towards philosophical and ethical reflection. In late 1980s, she was not allowed to publish and lived under the watchful eye of Securitate, the Romanian secret police. She had to wait until after the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989 to publish her next collection, Arhitectura valurilor (The Architecture of Waves). She wrote the lyrical and fantastical short stories collection titled Proiecte de trecut (Past Projects), the novel Sertarul cu aplauze (The Drawer of Applause) and several books of journalistic essays. She keeps returning to poetry, for example in collections such as Patria mea A4 (My A4 Country), Orologiul fără ore (The Clock with no Hours) and others. Ana Blandiana is a civic and human right activist. In the 1990s, she organised a reconstruction of the former political prison Marmaţiei v Sighetu into a memorial to the victims of Communism. Her works have been translated into twenty six languages.