The page of Csokits János, English biography
Born in Budapest in 1928, János Csokits left Hungary in 1949. He lived first in London, then in Paris and Munich where he worked for Free Europe Radio, then again in London, working for the BBC's Hungarian Department. His poems and essays were published in various Hungarian-language literary magazines outside Hungary. In 1989, Csokits returned to his native country where he lived until his death on 4 August 2011. János Csokits had a major part in acquainting the English-speaking world with János Pilinszky’s poetry. Since he believed that only a great poet could translate poetry into another language, he convinced Ted Hughes to translate Pilinszky. Csokits himself made raw translations for Ted Hughes, who wrote in a letter later on that "my co-translator, János Csokits, has let me get away with very little. He insisted on the closest verbal accuracy. This was very much to my own taste. We have tinkered with most of them for nearly eight years." The result of their collaboration was János Pilinszky’s Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet, 1976), reissued in an extended form and re-titled The Desert of Love (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1989). Death in the year 2011.