Kateřina Rudčenková

Kateřina Rudčenková

Poet, prose writer, author of stage plays. Winner of the German Hubert Burda prize (2003) and the Magnesia Litera (2014), she secured second place in the drama competition the Alfréd Radok Awards (2006). Her poems and plays have been published in German, English and Slovene. She was born in Prague on 12 April 1976.


Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
Walking on Dunes (Chůze po dunách) Fra 2013  2014 Magnesia Litera – Poetry
Niekur (Niekur) Větrné mlýny 2007
Ashes and Delight (Popel a slast) Klokočí/Knihovna Jana Drdy 2004
Nights, Nights (Noci noci) Torst 2004
No Need for You to Visit Me (Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval) Klokočí/Knihovna Jana Drdy 2001 DE
Ludwig (Ludwig) Klokočí/Knihovna Jana Drdy 1999
Walking on Dunes
Chůze po dunách
Niekur
Niekur
Niekur
Popel a slast
Ashes and Delight
Popel a slast
Noci noci
Nights, Nights
Noci noci
Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval
No Need for You to Visit Me
Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval
Ludwig
Ludwig
Ludwig
Award Year Country
Magnesia Litera – Poetry 2014 Česká republika
Praise
[Walking on Dunes] emanate carefulness, circumspection and patient consideration. The groundwork for most of them is composed of movement, specifically walking. Walking serves as a source of inner strength which pulses throughout this outwardly calm and patient collection.
—Markéta Kittlová
iLiteratura

She graduated in Creation of Texts and Scripts from the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and the Czech University of Life Sciences. Her debut work was the collection Ludwig (Klokočí, 1999), whose title and content are loosely inspired by the character of Ludwig from the play Thomas Bernhard. As Marie Langerová writes in Lidové noviny, “In the poetry collection Ludwig, every word emanates cranked-up destruction, and at the same time it is as if this motion slowly shifts whole images into other places and other bodies.”

The second collection Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval (No Need for You to Visit Me, Klokočí, 2001) freed itself from the shackles of artistic templates. “In place of the earlier realistic characters and specific urban or rural landscape, there arises a deserted house and in it a dusty room ‘on the edge of anything’. In the fading outlines of things which seem to have slipped into a dream, the last point of reference is the word and verse: “I live within language, to which / I consign everything that happens”,” writes critic Radim Kopáč.

The prose works brought together in the short-story collection Noci, noci (Nights, Nights, Torst, 2004) are linked by Anna, a character with autobiographical traits, who first struggles to come to terms with childhood traumas so that she can eventually try (rather unsuccessfully) to form relationships with men. In it Rudčenková has a distinctive voice; she speaks of the everyday, but in a harsh, almost belligerent way; with her, even her lovers cannot be sure of anything – all the more so because she doesn’t incorporate them into her literature: “Women’s literature starts to get good at the point where it stops worrying about the fact that it is women’s. Rudčenková doesn’t worry about it – it just is. Reading her work means listening to her talking about herself. Even when she tries to speak for more people, it is only she who is speaking. She can’t help it,” writes Štefan Švec in Právo.

This was followed by the poetry collection Popel a slast (Ashes and Delight, Klokočí, 2004) and, after a gap, by Chůze po dunách (Walking on Dunes, Fra, 2013), which brought out poems from the years 2008–2012. For this collection the author was awarded the Magnesia Litera prize for 2014 in the category of poetry. As Markéta Kittlová writes on iLiteratura.cz, “The poems emanate carefulness, circumspection and patient consideration. The groundwork for most of them is composed of movement, specifically walking. Walking serves as a source of inner strength which pulses throughout this outwardly calm and patient collection.”

Rudčenková is also the author of four stage plays; for Niekur she was awarded 2nd place in the Alfréd Radok Awards, and it was staged by the Prague theatre Divadlo Ungelt.

Notable awards
 2014 Magnesia Litera – Poetry