A poet, editor and translator, Denisa Comănescu graduated in Romanian and English from the Faculty of Philology of the University of Bucharest. She worked as editor, chief editor and editorial director, coordinating between 1980 and 2006 several successful foreign fiction series in two main publishing houses. Since 2007 she has been general manager of Humanitas Fiction Publishing House belonging to Humanitas Group in Bucharest and she has launched the first personalized series of world literature in Romania, “Denisa’s Bookshelf”, including more than 600 new published titles up late.
Comănescu authored five volumes of poetry: Banishment from Paradise (Izgonirea din Paradis), 1979 – Writers’ Union of Romania Debut Prize; The Silver Knife (Cuțitul de argint), 1983; The Boat on the Waves (Barca pe valuri), 1987; The Trace of Fire (Urma de foc), 1999 – Oradea International Poetry Festival Prize; Now My Old Time Biography (Acum biografia de-atunci), 2000 – an audiobook of the volume, read by the author, being released in 2008 by Humanitas Multimedia.
Volumes published abroad: in Sweden: Glädje utan försoning, translated by Dan Shafran,1999; in Spain: Regreso del exilio – bilingual edition, translated by Joaquin Garrigos, 2008; in Italy: Ritorno dall’esilio – bilingual edition, translated by Bruno Mazzoni and Mihai Banciu, with an afterword by Bruno Mazzoni, 2015; in Germany: Rückkehr aus dem Exil – bilingual edition, translated by Jan Cornelius, with an afterword by Peter Gehrisch, 2018. Some new poems by Comănescu are incorporated in this volume. Her poetry has been included in anthologies in more than fifteen countries. In 2003 she participated in the International Writers Program of the University of Iowa. Comănescu translated into Romanian a selection of Alan Brownjohn’s poetry and one of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poetry. In 1999, she edited an anthology of Romanian Women Poetry – Polish/Romanian edition: Strong–28 Women Poets of Romania. A member of the Writers’ Union of Romania since 1986. Former general secretary of the Romanian PEN Centre (1990–2004). A board member of Ireland-Romania Cultural Foundation since 2002, and a member of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP) since 2006.
„Strangely visionary, Denisa Comanescu’s poems articulate splendidly at the crossing of two antagonistic poetic directions: the sweetness of the southern sound and the harshness of the northern vision. Constructed from delicate echoes, the fragility of the Greek urn ends in agony, shattered under the guttural howl of a Nordic saga. The violent vibration of the distances is counteracted in the resigned whisper, in the confessional murmur of daily life. The poetic voice, always threatened, always triumphant, is left crushed by the images of hypnotic-aggressive reality. The lyrical force of the texts comes, paradoxically, from the powerless fullness of the sounds and whispers of the beginning of the world. Despair rarely sounded more natural and the pain more overwhelming than in the swirling whispers of Denisa Comănescu's poetry.”
Mircea Mihăieș, literary critic