Zuzana Gabrišová: Dear Mácha
– Czechia

Zuzana Gabrišová was born in Brno in 1978. She studied at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University and then worked as a teacher and translator. She spent seven years as a Zen-Buddhist monk in South Korea. After returning to Czechia, she has worked as a caretaker and successfully defended her thesis on female surrealists at Palacký University Olomouc. She has penned four poetry collections: Samá studna (So Many Wells, 2019), Ráno druhého dne (Tomorrow’s Morning, 2015), Těžko říct (Hard to Say, 2013) and O soli (On Salt, 2004). She said the following about her experiences: “It’s hard to say why I decided to return from the Korean monasteries after seven years. Poetry and literature were not the direct reason why I returned, just one of the reasons why I could. In Korea and the year before in a Hungarian Zen centre, I wasn’t writing much at all, but I also wasn’t reading anything – I had virtually no access to books. And when I got to them in the monastery school’s library and in the single second-hand bookshop in Seoul which sold English-language literature, I couldn’t stop reading. Later I also started writing again.” She edited an anthology of Czech female poets titled Milá Mácho (published by Větrné mlýny, 2020).