Nora Iuga was born in Bucharest in 1931. She comes from an artist family and grew up in several countries, including Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where her parents went on tour for two years, as well as in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu and in the Romanian capital. After completing her studies in German language and literature, she worked as a German teacher, bibliographer in the National Library, editorial journalist for the German language newspaper »Neuer Weg« (New Way) and the magazine »Volk und Kultur« (Nation and Culture), editor at the national academic and encyclopaedic publishing house, and as translator and director of the poetry section of the Writers’ Association. Ironic and agile-witted just as are her poems, she repeatedly got into conflict with the Communist authorities in Romania.
Nevertheless, she became increasingly established over the years – and beyond the 1989 revolution – as a prominent voice in Romanian poetry. Poets across the generations consider her as a leading influence on Romanian literature. Her ever diverse work shows the influence of the Oniric group, whose aim it was to bring Surrealism back to life in Romanian literature. Jumping between a great variety of situations restlessly, her unrhymed verse spirals through poetic forms addressing physicality, longing and desire, and connecting melancholy and love of life with clear, fresh imagery. »I can’t stay with a single feeling for very long at a time«, Iuga ad mit ted in an interview, »because I get terribly bored, especially when in pain or in melancholy or, I don’t know, when dejected – ›Schwermut‹ is a word I always have to laugh at, it’s so German, I don’t know why, but it always makes me laugh.«
Following the publication of her second volume of poetry, »Captivitatea cercului«, (1970; t: Caught in the circle), Iuga was banned from publishing her work. The publication of her third volume of poetry was allowed eight years later, and since then nine volumes have followed. Iuga has also been translating from German, in particular works by contemporary writers such as Grass, Jelinek, Bernhard, Pastior, Schädlich and Herta Müller. In 1993 the first of four novels by Iuga, »Săpunul lui Leopold Bloom« (t: The soap of Leopold Bloom), was published. Following the German translation of her collection of poems »Autobuzul cu cocoşaţi« (2002; t: The bus with the hunchbacks), a collection of selected poems was translated into German in 2007, and was received with admiration and acclaim.
In Romania, Iuga has been distinguished with five awards by the Writers’ Association, two by the magazine »Cuvîntul« (The Word) and awards from the cities of Slobozia, Satu-Mare and Călăraşi. She was honoured with the Friedrich Gundolf Award for the promotion of German literature. Other awards include a grant by the Akademie Schloss Solitude and a position as Writer-in-Residence at the Müllerhaus Lenzburg, Switzerland. Iuga lives in Bucharest.
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