Ján Labáth

the poet, prosaist and electrical engineer
Ján Labáth
( 13. October 1926 )

Ján Labáth was born in October 13, 1926 in Bački Petrovac. He attended elementary school (1933-1937) in his birth town, and high school attended in his birth town (1937-1941, 1943-1944, 1945-1946) and in Šurany, Slovakia (1942-1943). He studied Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana, Slovenia (1946-1948) and in Belgrade (1948-1953). As an electrical engineer he worked in Novi Sad (1953, 1954, 1961), in Banja Luka (1953-1954) and in Beočin (1954-1961). Since the year 1961 he was employed in the company Novosadska fabrika kabela in Novi Sad. In the year 1990 he retired. In the years 1965-1966 he was an editor of literary magazin Nový život (New life). He is a member of Association of Writers of Vojvodina and a member of Association of Slovak writers in Bratislava.

He published eleven books of poems: Sun clock (1958), When rivers overflow (1961), Commotion of clouds (1963), Commotion of clouds, selection (Bratislava, 1965), Autumn country (1970), The saint with the stabbed out eyes (1971), Scales (1976), Continuation (1984), Light riders, selection (1986, editor Michal Harpáň), Well (1988) and Annual rings (2006, editor Víťazoslav Hronec). Additionally two of his books as miscellaneous collections Snowbound footsteps (1996) and From there and where? (2005), also selection Homeland and world (Nădlac, Romania, 2003) contain beside other texts his poems. – Composed and, together with Miroslav Antić, translated in Serbian language the third in order anthology of Yugoslav Slovak poetry Rovina spieva – Raspevana ravnica (Lowland Sings) (1962).

He translates poetry from Serbian, English, French and Russian languages; in the year 1981 he published collection of poems translations Farewell with wind. He wrote two books of stories and one novel, which was published in re-edition together with his stories. – Three times he was awarded with the prize of Nový život (New Life) (1962, 1982 and 1990). For collection Autumn country and The saint with the stabbed out eyes he got the October prize of Novi Sad.  

Víťazoslav Hronec, translation: Andrew Ušjak