1. Nikola Madzirov: Remnants of Another Age

    16:00

    from Neil Astley / Added

    147 Plays / / 1 Comment

    Macedonia's Nikola Madzirov is one of the most powerful voices in contemporary European poetry. Born in a family of Balkan War refugees in Strumica in 1973, he grew up in the Soviet era in the former Republic of Yugoslavia ruled by Marshall Tito. When he was 18, the collapse of Yugoslavia prompted a shift in his sense of identity – as a writer reinventing himself in a country which felt new but was still nourished by deeply rooted historical traditions. The example and work of the great East European poets of the postwar period – Vasko Popa, Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert – were liberating influences on his writing and thinking. The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel compared the quality of his poetry to Tomas Tranströmer's. There is a clear line from their generation, and that of more recent figures like Adam Zagajewski from Poland, to Nikola Madzirov, but Madzirov's voice is a new 21st century voice in European poetry and he is one of the most outstanding figures of the post-Soviet generation. Here he reads from Remnants of Another Age, his first book of poetry published in English, with an introduction by Carolyn Forché, who writes: 'Madzirov calls himself "an involuntary descendant of refugees", referring to his family's flight from the Balkan Wars a century ago: his surname derives from mazir or majir, meaning "people without a home". The ideas of shelter and of homelessness, of nomadism, and spiritual transience serves as a palimpsest in these Remnants' – while Madzirov himself tells us in one of his poems, 'History is the first border I have to cross.' Neil Astley filmed him reading poems from the book after his reading at Ledbury Poetry Festival, on 6 July 2012, following his appearance at Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus in London. Here he reads eight poems (asterisked poems in Macedonian after the English translation): 'I Don't Know',* 'Separated', 'Home',* 'After Us', 'Shadows Pass Us By',* 'Before We Were Born', 'Many Things Happened' and 'Fast Is the Century'. The English translations are by Peggy and Graham W. Reid, Magdalena Horvat and Adam Reed. Remnants of Another Age was published by BOA Editions in the US in 2011, and is published by Bloodaxe Books in the UK in 2013. For more details see http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/titlepage.asp?isbn=1852249897 and https://www.boaeditions.org/bookstore/remnants-of-another-age.html

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    • Nikola Madzirov: I don't know

      02:41

      from MoTA - Museum of Transitory Art / Added

      25 Plays / / 0 Comments

      At this year's festival Days of Poetry of Wine, taking place each year in Ptuj, we asked participating poets to choose one of their favorite poems and recite it for us in its original language. Nikola Madžirov, one of the most highly praised European poets (recently billed one of the three best European poets at a reading in the Royal festival Hall in London), chose his poem 'I don't know'. He chose it because it is 'a poem that answers all the questions when he keeps silent'. I DON'T KNOW by Nikola Madžirov Distant are all the houses I am dreaming of, distant is the voice of my mother calling me for dinner, but I run toward the fields of wheat. We are distant like a ball that misses the goal and goes toward the sky, we are alive like a thermometer that is precise only when we look at it. The distant reality every day questions me like an unknown traveler who wakes me up in the middle of the journey saying Is this the right bus?, and I answer Yes, but I mean I don't know, I don't know the cities of your grandparents who want to leave behind all discovered diseases and cures made of patience. I dream of a house on the hill of our longings, to watch how the waves of the sea draw the cardiogram of our falls and loves, how people believe so as not to sink and step so as not to be forgotten. Distant are all the huts where we hid from the storm and from the pain of the does dying in front of the eyes of the hunters who were more lonely than hungry. The distant moment every day asks me Is this the window? Is this the life? and I say Yes, but I mean I don't know, I don't know if birds will begin to speak, without uttering A sky. Translated by Peggy and Graham W. Reid, Magdalena Horvat and Adam Reed

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      • Bombing of Poems over London, by the poet Nikola Madzirov

        01:17

        from Casagrande / Added

        123 Plays / / 0 Comments

        Nikola Madzirov tells us how he caught his first poem during the Bombing of Poems over London.

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        • citybooks: Nikola Madzirov

          01:55

          from deBuren / Added

          134 Plays / / 0 Comments

          In December 2011, citybooks author Nikola Madzirov visited us in Brussels and told us a bit about himself and his fascination for the city. Nikola Madzirov (1973, Strumica, Macedonia) is a poet, an essayist and a translator. His poetry has been translated into thirty languages and published in magazines and anthologies in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US. For citybooks he wrote the story 'Homes without Frames', which is available for free through the citybooks website: www.city-books.eu

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          • Nikola Madzirov, Valzhyna Mort and Ilya Kaminsky at Georgetown University

            01:16:25

            from Lannan Center / Added

            64 Plays / / 0 Comments

            Nikola Madzirov, Valzhyna Mort and Ilya Kaminsky read in the Bioethics Research Library, March 29, 2011. Part of the 2010-2011 Readings and Talks Series.

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