Czech poet Petr Král among French Academy honourees

Czech poet and translator Petr Král, who also writes in French, was among 64 people honoured by the French Academy on Thursday for their contributions in the cultural field.

The jury awarded Král, now 77, Le Grand Prix de la Francophonie not only for his book Critical Articles and Essays of Vlastizrady, but also for his entire body of work, including as an émigré.

As a translator and publisher, he has striven to bring Czech poetry to French readers, including the poems of Nobel Prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert. He also translated many French avant-garde writers, including André Breton, into Czech.

Král left Czechoslovakia for France after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968 and returned to his homeland in 2006. Three years ago he received the Czech State Prize for Literature.

Author: Brian Kenety