Diaphonous: George Szirtes’ Worlds of Poetry

Saturday 22/6/24
Interstellar Ideas

We are delighted to welcome poet George Szirtes to the Interstellar Ideas tent – last year George wrote a wonderful poem for our Noon to Moon project.


For over a decade, international poets George Szirtes (UK) and Alvin Pang (Singapore) have met time and again—as friends and fellow wordsmiths on page and stage—until the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Confined to different sides of the globe, they began to write poems back and forth in response to one another.  Reflecting on the circumstances in which we find ourselves living, the two poets dance in language through questions of life and time, with the world teetering from Covid through Black Lives Matters and Brexit to the Ukraine conflict. Szirtes joins us to talk about this project and his many decades exploring the worlds of poetry, through writing, translation and numerous collaborations.


George Szirtes was born in Hungary, came to England as a refugee and trained as an artist. His twelfth book of poems, Reel (2004) won the T S Eliot Prize for which he has been twice shortlisted since. His latest is Fresh Out of the Sky. (2021). His memoir The Photographer at Sixteen (2019) was awarded the James Tait Black Prize in 2020. He is a co-winner of the International Booker translator’s prize, as well as of numerous others. His own books have been translated into various languages including Italian, German, Chinese, Romanian and Hungarian.