Gyula Jenei (1962, Hungary) is a poet, writer, educator, and the editor of the quarterly literary magazine Eső (translatable as “Rain” or “Falling”). His poems and other writings comprise fifteen books; his poetry has been translated into English and Spanish. His most recent poetry collections, Légszomj (“Shortness of Breath”) and Szabadulószoba (“Escape Room”), are verse-diaries about life during the Covid era, created in collaboration with the artist György Verebes.

Photograph © Gyula Jenei


Passageways to God by Gyula Jenei

there will be my mother’s church, my father’s too, my grandmother’s. i am christened in the first of these, the catholic one, where i must go for bible school and mass. but my father’s line is protestant, and my grandmother often derides my mother’s family as papist. and thus me too. grandmother does not like […]

Litterfall by Gyula Jenei

the poplar trees will turn yellow then, when one night a sudden chill descends on them, and not leaf by leaf, like the happy trees, but from one day to the next the entire forest turns yellow, and in the weakening day the senile leaves lose their hold on the branches. at the end of […]

Slap by Gyula Jenei

he will be a gypsy boy, or maybe half-gypsy; but this matters only because of a spontaneous phrase. otherwise he is the same kind of sweatsuited devil as the rest of us. at that time only the agronomist’s son wears jeans, and we envy him for it, but also get along well with him. we […]

The Legend of Lobo by Gyula Jenei

strip-jointed floor, oil-fired stove, two-hundred seat auditorium to the world. we always buy tickets for the twelfth row. the rearmost medium-priced row. the entrance is five forints. for the first row, two. just once will i sit up there, to see a soviet film. i have to keep gazing upwards, my neck starts to hurt, […]