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On Thursday 31 January, Cambridge University Library was delighted to host George Gömöri and Clive Wilmer at an event to celebrate the publication of Steep Path, a selection of their translations of Hungarian poems made over the course of a collaboration which lasted almost half a century.

George was born in Budapest in 1934 and left Hungary in 1956 after the revolution there. He held a University Teaching Officer post in Cambridge between 1969 to 2001, attached to Darwin College where he is now an Emeritus Fellow. Clive was born in 1945, read English at King’s College Cambridge, and has lived and worked in Cambridge for much of his life. He is now is an Emeritus Fellow of Sidney Sussex College.

George and Clive have been jointly translating Hungarian poetry since about 1971, publishing  several volumes of their work, beginning with Forced March: Selected Poems of Miklós Radnóti, from Carcanet Press in 1979. Steep Path is a selection from across the range of their work originally made by Clive as an eightieth birthday present for George. As Clive says in his introduction to the book, Steep Path ‘assembles those of our translations that I personally think read best as English poems.’

At the event, held in the Library’s Munby Rare Books Room, George and Clive introduced and read poems from the volume, and answered questions from the audience. The Library’s Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts holds collections of literary papers of both poets, and a selection of their worksheets, demonstrating the collaborative process, was on display.