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Marta Petreu's first book of poetry in 1981, Bring Verbs, won the Romanian Writers' Union Prize for a debut volume. She has issued five other collections, including Psychic Place (1991), Shameless Poems (1993), The Book of Anger (1997), The Apocalypse According to Marta (1998)-a volume mostly of selected works, the publication of which Romanian reviewers have greeted as a major event-and The Phalanx (2001). Her poetry has been awarded various recognitions including national poetry prizes from both the Writers' Union and the rival Association of Professional Writers in Romania (ASPRO), the Nichita Stanescu and Poesis poetry awards, and prizes from national book fairs in Oradea and Cluj.
Petreu is editor of the much respected cultural magazine Apostrof, founded after the fall of Romania's communist regime. Born in 1955, she is a professor of philosophy at the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj and is the author of two academic books in her field. A selected volume in English, The Book of Anger, translated by Adam J. Sorkin with Christina Illias-Zarifopol and Liviu Bleoca, is currently looking for a publisher. Poems from this book have appeared in Sulfur, Partisan Review, Compost (winner of the 1999 Kenneth Rexroth Memorial Translation Prize), a special international poetry issue of Mississippi Review, The Bitter Oleander, Salt Hill, The Alembic, The Literary Review, Sorkin's anthology Transylvanian Voices, Massachusetts Review, Beacons, and Paper Street.
In the fall of 1998, Petreu was awarded a residency at the Ledig House International Writers' Colony in Ghent, New York. In 2001, she was honored by a Hellman/Hammett Grant from Human Rights Watch for her role as "a solitary voice of reason in Romania today" and for her criticism of the xenophobic Romanian extreme right and standing up to threats and to a mob attack at a reading.