Ted Hughes & Translation

To the Editors:

Sean O’Brien has his facts muddled about Hughes and poetry in translation [NYR, October 9]. Hughes and Weissbort were co-editors of the little magazine Modern Poetry in Translation. However, I was the sole advisory editor of the Penguin Modern European Poets in Translation; the in-house editor at Penguin was Nikos Stangos. Hughes made just two contributions to the Penguin series, both at my invitation: he wrote an introduction to a selection of Vasco Popa’s poems and collaborated in a translation of Janos Pilinszky’s work. O’Brien might easily have avoided the mistake by looking at the first page of any of the Penguin books.

Al Alvarez
London, England