Márton Simon and Timea Sipos on Finding the Familiar in Another Language

Marton Timon

Timea Sipos

The Hungarian poet Márton Simon and the translator Timea Sipos join the TOA editors Avni Vyas and Ryan Winet to talk about the Magyar language, the everyday practice of freedom, and the uncatchable early-morning hours of nothingness. (And cats.) Plus: Simon and Sipos read excerpts from their new TOA chapbook, “Songs for 3:45 AM,” in English and Hungarian.

Márton Simon is a Hungarian poet, spoken word performer, and translator. He is the recipient of the 2010 Makói Medáliák Prize for the best debut poetry collection of the year, the 2017 Literary Scholarship of the Visegrad Foundation, and the 2018 Péter Horváth Literary Prize for his latest book. He has published three collections of poems: “Songs for 3:45 AM” in 2010, “Polaroids” in 2013, and “Fox Wedding” in 2018. He has translated poems by Ocean Vuong and Dean Young from the English, and poems by Ryuichi Tamura and Shuntaro Tanikawa from the Japanese. He has lived in Wales and Poland. He currently lives and works in Budapest, Hungary.

Timea Sipos is a Hungarian American translator, writer, and poet with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her translation of Kinga Tóth’s bilingual, multimedia poetry collection, “Írmag/Offspring,” appeared in 2020 with YAMA Art. Her writing appears in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Juked, The Bisexual Poetry Anthology, and the Hungarian Kulter and Litera, among others. Other translations can be found in The Washington Square Review, The Offing, Asymptote, Two Lines, and elsewhere. She is a proud 2021-2022 Steinbeck Fellow, a 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee, a PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize nominee, a Miami Book Fair Emerging Writers Fellowship Honorable Mention, a J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction finalist, and a Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award finalist. Her work has received support from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, Tin House, the American Literary Translators Association, the Hungarian Translators’ House, the Nevada Arts Council, and the Black Mountain Institute, among others.