Bohumila Grögerová

Year of birth, place
1921, Prague, Czech Republic
Year of death, place
2014, Prague, Czech Republic
Role at the ZKM
Artist of the Collection
Biography

Bohumila Grögerová, born Tauferová was a Czech poet, prose writer, translator, author of radio plays and children's books.

Life
Bohumila Grögerová's family moved from Prague to Olomouc in 1923, to Brno (1926-1929) and back to Prague. In the years 1932-1948 she graduated from the Charlotta Garrigue Masaryk Girls' Real Gymnasium (1932-1940) and then from a public school for secretaries.
In 1942-1945 she worked at the Social Welfare Association as a foreign language secretary and met Josef Hiršal. In May 1945 she joins the press department of the Ministry of National Defense. In 1947 she began studying Czech and Russian at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University, but dropped out after two semesters. In 1951 she joined the publishing house Naše vojsko, and after completing her library studies in 1961 she was hired as a foreign language documentalist. After a political review, she had to leave in 1972, but got a job as an editor at the Center for Scientific, Technical and Economic Information (ÚVTEI). She retired in January 1980 and lived in Prague until her death in 2014.

Work
Since the mid-1950s, Bohumila Grögerová wrote children's books, translated and collaborated with Josef Hiršal, among others on the publications »Job-boj« and »Let let – pokus o rekospitulaci«. In the 1970s she was not allowed to publish. She is the author of »Meandry« (1996), a collection of experimental prose, and of two memoir-like publications, »Branka z pantů« (1998) and »Čas mezi tehdy a teď« (2004). Art and literary historian Radim Kopáč, who was a friend of Bohumila Gröger during the last decades of her life, published a book interview entitled »Klikyháky paměti« in 2005.

In 2009, her poetry collection »Manuscript« was awarded the Magnesia Litera Prize in the poetry and book of the year category.

The Stuttgart School
In the early 1960s, Bohumila Grögerová and Josef Hiršal discovered experimental, concrete literature in the circles of Franz Mon, Walter Höllerer and Max Bense. Through the library exchange service they obtained publications such as the anthology »movens« (1960) or Max Bense's »Plakatwelt« 1952. They contacted Max Bense, who sent them a package containing the magazine »Augenblick«, the series »rot«, which he edited together with Elisabeth Walther, as well as some issues of the »Grundlagenstudien aus Kybernetik und Geisteswissenschaft«. In March 1962 Grögerová and Hiršal finished their collection of poems »JOB-BOJ« [= Josef/Bohumila, Bohumila/Josef], which was published in 1968. 
At the beginning of 1963 they begin a correspondence with Eugen Gomringer and Haroldo de Campos. They become part of the international network of concrete poets around Max Bense, which included, among others, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Pierre Garnier, Ernst Jandl and Reinhard Döhl. Grögerová and Hiršal organize a series of lectures on concrete poetry and information aesthetics in Prague during this period and translate works of concrete poetry as well as theoretical texts by Max Bense into Czech. 
Max Bense in turn includes their poems in the exhibition »Concrete Poetry International« (1965). Hansjörg Mayer invites her to contribute to the portfolio »konkrete poesie international« and publishes a selection from »job boj« in the series »Futura«.
After the suppression of the Prague Spring, Grögerová and Hiršal's planned publications on concrete poetry were cancelled by publishers, including an anthology on nonsense poetry. It finally appeared in 1997. 

Bibliography
»slovo, písmo akce, hlas. k estetice kultury technického veku«, »Otázky a názor«, vol. 63, Prague, Československý spisovatel, 1967
»BOJ JOB JOB BOJ (JOB-FIGHT)«, Prague: Československ Spisovatel, 1968.
»Nonsense. parafráze. paberky. parody. padelky«, Prague: Mladá fronta, 1997. »Let. Pokus o rekapitulaci vol 1". Prague: Rozmluvy 1993.
»Let Let. Pokus o rekapitulaci«, vol. 2, 3, Prague: Mladá fronta 1994.
»Let Let. In the Flight of Years«, with a foreword by Václav Havel. Graz: Literaturverlag Droschl, 1994.
»Vrh kostek« [The Throw of the Dice], Prague: Torst, 1993.