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George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. His poems began appearing in national magazines in 1973 and his first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979. It won the Faber Memorial prize the following year. Since then he has published more than a dozen books. He won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2005, for Reel.
Having returned to Budapest for the first time in 1984, he has since worked extensively as a translator of poems, novels, plays and essays. His own work has been translated into numerous languages. Beside his work in poetry and translation he has written Exercise of Power, a study of the artist Ana Maria Pacheco, and, together with Penelope Lively, edited New Writing 10, published by Picador in 2001.
George Szirtes lives near Norwich with his wife, the painter Clarissa Upchurch. Together they ran The Starwheel Press. In 2006, Corvina produced Budapest: Image, Poem, Film, their collaboration in poetry and visual work.