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

This Issue

December 18, 2003