(1920 - )
Valeri Petrov (pseudonym of Valeri Nisim Mevorah) was born in Sofia where he studied in the Italian Lyceum. He graduated in Medicine from the University of Sofia. He has worked at Radio Sofia and taken part in WW2 as army writer (the newspaper Frontovak). After the war he was among the founders and became deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Starshel (1945-1962). Petrov was Press and Cultural Attaché at the Bulgarian mission in Rome (1947-1950), also editor at the Boyana Film Studio, at the Bulgarski pisatel Publishing House and an MP in the Seventh Grand National Assembly (1990-1991).

His poetry was first published in 1936. Petrov’s poems of the 1940s are especially well-known: Palechko [Tom Thumb], Uvenes dum sumus, Tavanski spomen [Attic Memory], Kray sinyoto more [By the Blue Sea]. Besides collections of poetry and epic-lyric, he also wrote travelogues (Kniga za Kitay [A Book about China], 1958; Afrikanski belezhnik [An African Notebook], 1965), as well as – since the 1960s – many plays (Kogato rozite tantsuvat [When Roses Dance]; Iprovizatsiya [Improvisation] – co-authored with Radoi Ralin; San [Dream]; V lunnata staya [In the Moon Room]; Byala prikazka [A White Fairytale]; Meko kazano [Putting It Mildly]; Puk; Chestna musketarska [Musketeer’s Honor]; Teatar, lyubov moya [Theatre, My Love]). He has translated Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and sonnets, Goethe’s Faust, works by Gianni Rodari, Rudyard Kipling, Sergey Mihalkov, and Sister Juana Inès de la Cruz. Petrov is a scriptwriter for feature films (Tochka parva, 1956; Na malkiya ostrov, 1958; Parvi urok, 1960; Slantseto i syankata, 1962; Vaskata, 1965; Ritsar bez bronya, 1966; Edin snimachen den, 1969; Otkude se znaem?, 1975; S lyubov i nezhnost, 1978; Yo-ho-ho, 1981; Razhodki s angela, 1990; Teatar, lyubov moya, 1994; Vsichko ot nula, 1996); he has also written scripts for cartoons and film novellas.

Valeri Petrov was awarded the Dimitrov Prize for his poem V mekata esen [In Mild Autumn] (1960), the Order of Stara Planina First degree (2000), the National Award Konstantin Konstantinov for his contribution to publishing for children (2004), the Sofia University Literary Prize (2005), the Hristo G. Danov National Award for life-time achievement (2006), the St. Paisiy Hilendarski Award (2007), the Marin Drinov Sign of Honor of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2011), the European Citizen’s Prize of the European Parliament for 2013 – for his contribution to Bulgarian culture and international understanding.

Works by Valeri Petrov have been translated into English by Richard Wilbur, Vladimir Phillipov, Peter Tempest, Grigor Pavlov, Vesselin Izmirliev, and Roy MacGregor-Hastie.


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