Anne Pennington

Anne Pennington (1934-1981) was a scholar of Russian and Slavonic Studies and a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford. Her scholarly interests were wide-ranging, but she had a particular interest in the languages and traditions of South-eastern Europe and she translated folk poetry from those regions as well as a number of contemporary poets, such as Vasko Popa. She often worked in collaboration with English-speaking poets, including Ted Hughes, who held her work in high regard. She had a great friendship with Vasko Popa and their correspondence was published in 2010. When Vasko Popa learnt of Anne Pennington’s death he was about to appear at a poetry reading in Cambridge. He wanted to read a poem dedicated to Anne Pennington, and so Peter Jay, Anthony Rudolf and Daniel Weissbort quickly translated the poem together. The poem opens: ‘Until her last breath she enlarges | her Oxford house | Built in Slavonic | Vowels and consonants’.