German translator Guenter Giesenfeld, poet Sándor Halmosi, writer Kieu Bich Hau, poet Laura Garavaglia.
This is contained in the prologue of writer Kieu Bich Hau's piece about international literary friends.
The first is Italian poet Laura Garavaglia who first came to Vietnam in spring 2019. Writer Kieu Bich Hau welcomed her as directed by the Vietnam Writers Association. On the bus to the guest house, they exchanged business cards and she was surprised to learn that Laura Garavaglia is President of the House of Poems in Como, Director of the European Poetry Festival, besides being a poet, literary translator and journalist.
Looking at the tall, thin woman, having entered her sixties, writer Kieu Bich Hau wondered how she could do so many things at the one time. The House of Poems in Como and the Vietnam Writers' Association signed a cooperation agreement, with the Italian side publishing Vietnamese literature, cuisine, tourism, and general cultural research in Italy while at the same time, the Vietnamese side will establish an Italian cultural club in Hanoi. Currently, Garavaglia is gathering Vietnamese literature and cultural books to teach students, so that young Italians can better understand Vietnam, a place she loves.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has also become captivated with Sándor Halmosi, a Hungarian poet, for the country’s freedom, enthusiasm and colorful tropical cuisine.
With a continuous future connection, the promotion of cross-published works between the two countries will introduce readers to the beauty of traditional and contemporary literature, the richness, differences and similarities in the souls of Hungarians and the Vietnamese.
Sándor Halmosi has paid much attention to Vietnam, not only its food, traffic, music on the bus, but also Vietnamese architecture.
Writer Kieu Bich Hau partly explains the passion of Sándor Halmosi when she read "Milyenek a magyarok?" (Who are the Hungarians?) by Lakfi Janós. Indeed, the Hungarian character is somewhat similar to that of the Vietnamese: intelligent and witty.
Sándor Halmosi is also a translator, mathematician, speaker, founder of a Hungarian literary and art organisation and owner of a publishing house. In 2020, his AB ART Publishing House published two Vietnamese books, bringing the total number of Vietnamese books published in Hungary so far to 79. These were the books "An Anthology of Vietnam War Poems" and Bao Ninh's short story named 'Camp of Seven Dwarves’. In 2021, Sándor Halmosi will continue to translate and will publish a novel and a collection of Vietnamese poetry in Hungary.
Once, before visiting the capital city of Budapest, writer Kieu Bich Hau asked Sándor Halmosi what was his favorite dish in Hanoi, so she could bring it. The poet said that she can bring to Budapest a busy, bustling Hanoi street with motorcycles, pedestrians, buses, and streetside shops. "It is vital for my mind! ", he said.
Another international literary friend of writer Kieu Bich Hau is Andrea H. Hedes ,currently working as a writer, translator and owner of a publishing house in her home country, as well as editor-in-chief of a cultural magazine in Romania called Neuma.
Andrea H. Hedes is a multi-talented woman. They met but only exchanged business cards, unable to chat. So Kieu Bich Hau was very surprised when she received an email from Andrea H. Hedes.
Andrea H. Hedes translated and published Vietnamese poems regularly in NEUMA magazine in 2019 and 2020. These helped her discover more about the Vietnamese soul. Her poems about Vietnam were scattered in Romanian literary magazines and newspapers. They were welcomed by readers and created questions about Vietnam. She decided to write a book of poems about Vietnam to publish in her country.
All three new and close friends share the belief that literature, poetry, and a strong sense of connection are the only way to preserve the human soul.
Andrea H. Hedes is currently working as a writer, translator, owner of a publishing house in her home country, and editor-in-chief of a cultural magazine in Romania called Neuma.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Mawe plans to promote both Vietnamese translations of Swedish literature and Swedish translations of Vietnamese literary works.