Artists 2016: Balkan Balcony

Lindita Arapi

Lindita Arapi (c) Dittrich Verlag

Lindita Arapi (born in Lushnjë in 1972) is one of Albania’s most prominent contemporary writers. She has been writing poems since the 1990s, and in 2010 she published her first novel, Vazjat me çelës. She began studying in Tirana, then moved to Germany in 1996 and studied German, English and Education in Cologne. In the same year she received a writer’s fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and was Honorary Fellow in Writing at the University of Iowa. She lives in Bonn, where she works as a freelance editor for the Deutsche Welle reporting mainly on Balkan cultural and political issues. She translates German writers into Albanian, including Günter Grass, Felicitas Hoppe and Marion Poschmann. Her own poems are determined by the questions of identity and otherness. Her texts have been translated into German and Italian.
Lindita Arapi is actively committed to the process of coming to terms with the legacy of Albania’s Communist past and in 2015 initiated a call to the Albanian parliament to open the files from the period of the Communist dictatorship. It was signed by more than 100 intellectuals all over Europe, including Marianne Birthler and Durs Grünbein.

Publications (poetry):
Am Meer, nachts, 2007
Shenjat e dorës.2006
Melodi te heshtjes.1998
Ndodhi në shpirt. 1995
Kufomë lulesh.1993

Theodoros Chiotis

Theodoros Chiotis (c) Stavros Petropoulos

Greek writer and literary scholar Theodoros Chiotis (born in Athens in 1977) writes poems and Code Poetry in Greek and English. He studied Classical and Modern Greek Language and Literature at the Universities of London and Oxford. In 2015 he edited the acclaimed anthology Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis, published by Penned in the Margins, which brings together poems by Greek writers on the social and cultural crisis in their country. This anthology is a call for solidarity and resistance and for an understanding of poetry as a political paradigm. In his own poems, which have been published throughout the world in magazines and anthologies, Theodoros Chiotisan explores the transitions from the personal to the political and from the concrete to the virtual.
He has translated Aristophanes into English and contemporary British and American poets into Greek. As a scholar working for his PhD at Oxford he is involved with such topics as contemporary poetry, autobiography and digital literature. He is a project leader in the Cavafy Archive of the Onassis Foundation and editor of the Greek literary magazine [φρμκ]. Chiotis lives in Athens.

Theory of the Machine. Forthcoming 2016

Kapka Kassabova

Kapka Kassabova (c) Marti Friedlander

Kapka Kassabova (born in Sofia in 1973) is a Bulgarian-British writer who writes in English. In the 1990s she emigrated as a teenager with her family to New Zealand, where she published her first collection of poems and a novel. She has lived in Scotland since 2004. As well as several more books of poems she has also written novels and travel stories.
Kapka Kassabova is a critical observer of her old homeland. In her travels and writings she explores the tension between childhood memories and the current reality in the Balkans. Emigration, loss and the discovery of new places on the map of memory are the big themes of her writing. They are rooted deep in her childhood in Communist Bulgaria. Today she turns her gaze on Europe’s new borders and makes a plea for changes in the Balkan region.

Publications (poetry):
Geography for the Lost. BloodaxeBooks and Auckland University Press 2007
Someone Else’s Life. BloodaxeBooks and Auckland University Press 2003
All Roads Lead to the Sea. Auckland University Press1997

Nikola Madzirov

Nikola Madzirov (c) gezett

Macedonian poet, essayist and translator Nikola Madzirov (born in Strumica in 1973) is the curator of the Balkan Balcony for the 2016 poesiefestival berlin. He is one of the major younger voices of south-east European poetry and has gained a hearing throughout the world. His debut, Zaklučenivogradot (Locked in the City) was a literary sensation when it burst on to the scene in 1999. His poems have been translated into more than thirty languages and published in monographs and anthologies in Europe, the USA and Asia. In 2011 he won the Hubert Burda Prize for young East European Poets for the German translation of his book Relocated Stone. His honours also include several residencies including the University of Iowa. He is a fellow of the DAAD Artist in Berlin Program in 2016.

Poems on lyrikline:

Ana Ristović

Ana Ristović

Poet Ana Ristović (born in Belgrade in 1972) studied Serbian and Comparative Literature in Belgrade, where she now lives. She raises her voice in an alert and uncompromising way and with no respect for convention against the official version of history. She has written mockingly in the Serbian journal Blic that only dead writers are good writers in Serbia. Her poems celebrate an urban reality defying all conventions.
To date she has published eight volumes of verse, for which she has been awarded many prizes, including the Hubert Burda Prize for young East European Poets in 2005. Ana Ristović is one of the most translated of contemporary Serb poets Her poems have appeared as books in Germany, Slovakia and Hungary as well as in international anthologies and magazines. For many years she edited the cultural journal Balcani and is a member of writers’ associations both in Serbia and in Slovakia, where lived for several years.

Publications (selection):
Чистина.Архипелаг 2015
Метеорски отпад. Културни центар Новог Сада 2013
П. С. (изабране песме). Народна библиотека ‘Стефан Првовенчани’ 2009
Живот на разгледници.Плато 2003
Забава за доконе кћери. Рад 1999
Уже од песка. Градац 1997
Сновидна вода, Књижевна омладина Србије.Пегаз 1994

Poems on lyrikline:
Očajna razglednica

Damir Šodan

Damir Šodan

Damir Šodan (born in Split in 1964) writes poems and plays. He studied English Literature and History at the University of Zagreb. After the end of the war in Yugoslavia he worked as a translator for the United Nations in Den Haag for two decades, translating for th International Criminal Court for former Yugoslavia . Since then he has lived in Den Haag and Split.
Šodan is one one the most interesting Croatian poets of the post-war generation. In his texts he deals with the war in Yugoslavia with irony and sarcasm. His poems are laconic with a clarity of imagery. He has published five books of poems, two collections of plays and the anthology Walk on the Other Side (2010), which presents contemporary “neo-realist” poetry from Croatia. His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in several countries. He translates poetry and prose by writers including Charles Simic, Leonard Cohen and Frank O’Hara into Croatian. He is also the editor of the journals Poezija and Quorum in Zagreb.

Publications (poetry):
The Enemy Within, 2016
Café Apollinaire, Biblioteka Tridvajedan No. 26, 2013
Pismadivljem Skitu, 2009
Srednjisvijet, Naklada MD 2001
Glasovnepromjene, Naklada MD1996

Poems on lyrikline:

Reading on YouTube: