ISTVÁN ÁGH (Felsőiszkáz, 1938), poet, writer. He directed the poetry section of the literary monthly Új Írás, and later became editor of the monthly Hitel. An influential writer of his generation, Ágh created a remarkable oeuvre in the genres of poetry, prose and essay. Regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Prizes include: József Attila Prize (1969, 1980), Kossuth Prize (1992), Nagy Imre Memorial Plaque (1993), National Artist Award (2014).

MICHAELA.CASEYis Director of the PM Glynn Institute, a public policy institute established by Australian Catholic University within the Office of Government, Policy and Strategy in 2016. The Institute provides the Catholic community with a standing capacity to analyse public policy issues of concern not only to the Church and its ministries, but to the wider community as well. Mr. Casey’s academic background is in sociology, law, English literature and history, and his published writings are focused on democracy, culture and religion.

GEORGE GÖMÖRI (Budapest, 1934) has been living in England since November 1956. After studies in Oxford, he taught at the University of California (Berkeley), then researched at Harvard. From 1969 to 2001 he taught at the University of Cambridge. He published many books on Polish and Hungarian literature; also numerous books of poetry in Hungarian and several in English. He is a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cracow). His recent publication, The Alien intheChapel.PoemsandLettersbyFerenc Békássy (Skyscraper Books), was edited with his wife, Mari Gömöri.

ANTON HYKISCH (1932, Selmecbánya) writer and diplomat; has a degree in economics. He has written more than 30 books (novels, short stories, documentary novels). Following the Soviet invasion in August 1968, he was kept from publishing for many years. After 1989, he became a representative in Parliament and was also member of the presidium of the Slovak Parliament; was one of the initiators of declaring the Republic of Slovakia’s independence. Later, he was the first Slovakian ambassador to Canada; following his return, he taught political science at the University of Nagyszombat. Currently he is a freelance writer in Pozsony. He is co-founder and former president of PEN Slovakian Centre; was vice-president of the Slovakian Paneuropean Union; member of the World Future Society (USA). His recent works include the following: Egyedül idegen városokban (2006) [Alone in foreign cities], short stories; novels: Emlékezz a cárra! (2007) [Remember the Czar!]; Régi idők gyönyörei (2009) [The pleasures of old times]; Az én Selmecbányám (2012) [My Selmecbánya]; Higgyetek a császárnak! (2016) [Believe the Emperor!].

RÓZSA IGNÁCZ (Kovászna, 1909 – Budapest, 1979), actress, writer, translator. Between 1931 and 1939 she was a member of the National Theatre in Budapest. From 1939 to 1940 she worked as Paris correspondent of the Budapest Theatrical Magazine. From 1945 to 1947 she was editor for the Főváros Publishers, later editor of the religious weekly Református Élet. Since her novels spoke about the tribulations of the Hungarians in Moldova, Bukovina and Transylvania, they were banned after the war and could not be published until 1957. Prizes include: Ferenc József Prize (1942).

Prof. JÁNOS MARTONYI (Kolozsvár/ Cluj 1944) university professor (University of Szeged; ELTE University, Budapest; College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin; Central European University, Budapest), politician, attorney, international arbitrator, author of numerous books, essays and articles primarily in the field of international trade law, competition policy and law, European integration and law, cooperation in Central Europe, global regulations and international relations. Commissioner for privatisation in 1989–1990; State Secretary in the Ministry of International Economic Relations in 1990–1991, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991–1994, managing partner at the law firm Martonyi and Kajtár, Baker & McKenzie, Budapest in 1994–1998 and 2002–2009, Head of the Institute for Private International Law and International Trade Law at the University of Szeged in 1999–2009, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary in 1998–2002 and 2010–2014. Awards: the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, the Széchenyi Prize, the Hungarian American Coalition 2016 Award, the Legion of Honour of France, the National Order of Merit of France and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, as well as British, Austrian, Polish and Bulgarian state decorations.

DAVID MORRIS was an Australian diplomat posted to Hungary in the early 1990s and later to Ireland, with short term assignments to the United Nations and European Union. He returned to his home of Tasmania be a senior political adviser and, later, Director of International Business for the state of New South Wales. More recently, he was founding Executive Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, National Director of the bipartisan Australian Republican Movement and is currently the Chief Representative and Trade and Investment Commissioner of the Pacific Islands Forum in China. You can follow him on twitter: @dm_aus

ISTVÁN OROSZ (Kecskemét, 1951) is one of the most versatile Hungarian graphic artists. In 2011 he was awarded the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s highest distinction for the arts. His graphic works are often related to postmodernism by archaic forms, art historical references, stylistic quotations and playful self- reflection. He has created many famous posters; he makes animation films, and is preoccupied with the art and science of optical illusions and anamorphic design. He is also concerned with the ambiguities of spatial constructions. These interests led him to write his recent book on Hans Holbein’s famous The Ambassadors and the Pharaoh, which exhibits a mastery of prose style and psychology, and also includes his own consummate poems.

JOHN O’SULLIVAN (Liverpool, 1942) is editor-at-large of National Review in New York where he served as Editor-in-Chief for ten years. He was a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and later assisted her in the writing of her two volumes of memoirs. He has held a wide variety of senior editorial positions in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the founder and co-chairman of the Atlantic Initiative, an international bipartisan organisation dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding the Atlantic community of democracies, launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996 by President Václav Havel and Lady Thatcher. His book, The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister (on Pope John Paul II, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher), was published in Hungarian, too, in 2010. Until 2011, he was the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Prague. Currently he is the President of the Danube Institute, Budapest.

NICHOLAS T. PARSONS is a freelance author, translator and editor based in Vienna. A graduate of New College, Oxford, he spent two years in Italy teaching at the British Institute of Florence and as Reader in English at the University of Pisa before returning to the UK to work in publishing for ten years in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984 he settled in Central Europe with his Hungarian wife, the art historian Ilona Sármány, and has since published some 17 books on cultural topics, writing also as Louis James. These include the Blue Guide Austria and the Blue Guide Vienna as well as the first English guide to Hungary to be published following the “system change” of 1989. His essay-length Xenophobe’s Guide to the Austrians(Louis James) has been in print for 20 years. His recent books are Worth the Detour: A Cultural History of the Guidebook from Pausanias to the Rough Guide, and Vienna: A Cultural and Literary History (Signal Books / Oxford University Press). His latest work is A New Devil’s Dictionary: Lexicon for Contrarians, a reformulation for our times of Ambrose Bierce’s satirical take on disingenuous language.

DAVID A. J. REYNOLDS is a freelance writer and editor from England, specializing in history and current affairs. He has lived and taught in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Philadelphia, and presently resides in Illinois.

ILONA SÁRMÁNY-PARSONS is a Hungarian art historian based in Vienna. After earning her PhD from the Budapest University (ELTE), she worked at the Institute of Art History at the Hungarian Academy for ten years before leaving for Austria. She has taught at the University of Debrecen, the University of Vienna and University of Nottingham. In 2000 she was a fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and from 1991 until 2015 she was Permanent Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Budapest. Her special field is the art and architecture of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph. She has contributed studies on architecture, painting and the applied arts in Hungarian, German and English to numerous exhibition catalogues and study volumes. Her book on Gustav Klimt (1987) was published in English, German, French, Czech, Russian and Japanese, and Viennese PaintingattheTurnoftheCentury(1991, 2nd ed. 2003) also appeared in Hungarian, English and German. Over the past few years she has published studies on the Hungarian painters Károly Ferenczy (2011) and István Csók (2013), and on Egon Schiele (2013). In 2015, she edited and wrote the introductory study for a volume on the art critic of the Vienna Secession (Ludwig Hevesi und seine Zeit, Wien). She was the curator of the exhibition entitled The First Golden Age held from November 2016 to March 2017.

NORMAN STONE (Glasgow, 1941) is a British historian, former student then lecturer at the University of Cambridge, professor of history at the University of Oxford, and was a professor of International Relations at the University of Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey. He was also an advisor and speech writer to the British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and is the author of many books on twentieth century history, including The Eastern Front 1914–17 (1975), Hitler (1980), Europe Transformed, 1878–1919 (1983), The Other Russia (1990), and The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A Personal History of the Cold War (2010).

ATTILA SZEPESI (Ungvár, 1942), poet, journalist, editor. Between 1972 and 1982 he edited the poetry section of the monthly Kortárs,then he worked for various periodicals (Új TükörÚj Írás). Prizes include: József Attila Prize (1980), Hungarian Literature Laureate (2002), Hungarian Academy of Arts’ Illyés Gyula Prize (2014).

GERGELY SZILVAY (1983) journalist, editor. He received his degree in history and communication from Pázmány Péter Catholic University, and is currently working towards his PhD in political theory. As a journalist, he has been working for the daily MagyarNemzet, the online Catholic journal Magyar Kurír, and the Inforádió. Currently, he is an associate editor for Mandiner. Between 2016–2017, he was a beneficiary of the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor scholarship in New York.

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