SmallStations - Books in Bulgarian

Ákos Győrffy was born in Vác, Hungary in 1976. He has four poetry collections and three books of essays. One of the most important elements of Ákos Győrffy’s poetry is the stories they contain. His voice is passionless; the lyrical ‘I’ does not wish to say more than it has seen, or to interpret, just to reveal. With a story that shows a certain feeling, a mood, things that are neither visible nor catchable.

Who says young and old cannot live together? This book proves the opposite, when the old reach the age at which they start to think like children and the young are of that strange type that has a long nose, skin with spots and hair sticking out from behind like a horn. Young and old inhabit a single world in which museums are villains, umbrellas are insects, the world is smaller than the cemetery and the soul more rigid than that of the antelope. Here the most important vehicle is the tram, a journey on which is like climbing an 8,000-metre peak. You cannot fail to observe the author’s unconventional narrative, which is tight and compelling (the book won the Spanish National Book Award), for fearless ‘heroes’, not ordinary, but different people. Reading matter that is compelling in its rich fantasy and things that are said in other words.

Zahari Zahariev was born in 1989 in the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. He is a poet, writer, gardener and PhD student in philosophy at Sofia University. He is interested in magic realism and turning it into fantastic realism, in the syntactic and sensory illness of experiences and the invasion of literature into life. His poetry is an irresistible stream of vivid metaphors, a poetry of desire, a subconscious poetry that rejects reality only to absorb it later – he mythologizes its geography. Zahari Zahariev has published in various digital and printed editions. This is his debut poetry collection.

Rosalía de Castro is a Galician poet, an important figure of the Romantic movement in Galicia, known as the Rexurdimento. Her poems are saturated with unsteady grief, they are an unusual mixture of nostalgia, longing and melancholy. She is the author of three emblematic books; the date of the dedication of the first – Galician Songs – is celebrated each year as the Day of Galician Literature. Her life was marked by poverty and sadness, so an empathy for poverty and helplessness is a strong theme in her poetry, as well as the protection of women’s rights. She died at the age of forty-eight. Her tomb is found in the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians in Santiago de Compostela. In her second and final book in Galician, New Leaves, she speaks of the heart in pain, the pain that softens stones, love gentle and sad as the breath of an angel, the needle of anger, the woe that survives death, death as the only remedy for life.

The anthology Four Times North presents poems by four contemporary British poets in Bulgarian. What they all have in common is that they live in the north of England. W. N. Herbert, whose roots are Scottish, is a university lecturer, known for his love of the linguistic find, the unexpected detail and the overlooked possibilities of language. Andy Croft is witty, critical of public issues, a frankly left and yet lyrical poet. He has taught creative writing to all sorts of “difficult” groups, from children to prisoners. Linda France, also a teacher of creative writing, is addicted to nature, to the silent world of plants, to those untouched by commercialization. Mark Robinson was executive director of the Arts Council (North East) and, during this time, refrained from publishing his own poetry so as not to create any doubt that he was in conflict of interest. His poems can be jokey or offensive; they are characterized by an elegant tone, a sense of the spirit of the local landscape and the directness of speech.

Petja Heinrich was born in Sofia in 1973 and has lived in Düsseldorf for two decades. She has published five poetry collections and a singular Lima with poetry in prose. She is the creator and engineer of the legendary literary magazine No Poezia. A cyclist who talks to birds. The poems in Lima are a model of one type of writing: association in a surrealist-Dadaist spirit. A funny game of unexpected connections and references in which words barely catch up with the associative thought. The interesting thing about this book is that everything is related to everything else in the most unusual way and we cannot count the plans because they are constantly shrinking and bursting, merging into one another. Lima is a blaze that brings to mind the picture of creatures fleeing or remaining in their seats after the explosion of a volcano or a corn kernel.

Werner Lambersy was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1941. He has lived and worked in Paris since 1980. He is a former director of the Wallonia-Brussels Cultural Centre in the French capital. His numerous works are varied in form and tone – from a finite conciseness and simplicity to more voluminous works with a slow rhythm, similar to deep breathing, but in all his works there is a constant reflection on self-identification through love and writing. Behind the seemingly virile and bon vivant tone of his poems often hides a subtle sensuality and an anxious humanism. Famous far beyond Belgium, with over forty poetry collections, he ranks among the most prominent representatives of contemporary French-language poetry. Translated into over twenty languages with individual author editions, he is the winner of multiple awards.

The plot of the book follows real events linked with the killing of Lasa and Zabala (in the novel, Soto and Zeberio) by GAL, a paramilitary group practising so-called state terrorism against ETA during the rule of the Socialist government in the 1980s. The protagonist Diego Lazkano, a writer and close friend of the victims, is caught between his sense of guilt and his uneventful career. Faced with a choice, he opts for his place in the sun like pine needles, which remain silent on one side and therefore survive. In an anxious time of intrigues and journalistic manipulations, a Bohemian life and the lack of any morals is a way to be generous with yourself. Even though this book doesn’t follow the standard process of the postmodern novel of intertwining new events and people, the destiny of the heroes appears and disappears permanently in its pages, which gives it the feeling of unreality, of a mirage, that is so important for any successful criminal-psychological drama. The novel received both the Spanish Critics’ Prize and the Euskadi Prize for Literature.

This book gathers the fourth and fifth books – Secession and Flesh of Leviathan – in Chus Pato’s pentalogy Decrúa. Her poetry is highly erudite and concentrated-experimental. Important themes for Pato are politics, language, gender and nation. But she also writes about migration and marginalization, about the nomads we all are. She emphasizes the image of the spirit staying at the edge of the abyss and sees not the end but green fields. An absence in which wonder finds a voice. A central figure in contemporary poetry and one of the most iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Chus Pato’s book m-Talá broke the poetic mould when it was first published in 2000. Hordes of Writing, the third text in her pentalogy, was awarded the Spanish Critics’ Prize for Galician Poetry and the Losada Diéguez Prize for Literary Creation. Secession was chosen as the Book of the Year by the Revista das Letras, the literary supplement of the newspaper Galicia Hoxe.

Gökçenur Ç. was born and lives in Istanbul. He graduated from Istanbul Technical University and has an MBA from Istanbul University. In 1990 he started publishing poems in different literary magazines. He is the author of six poetry books. He also translates American and Balkan poetry. He has participated in many workshops and literary festivals in Europe, Asia and America. His poetry has been translated into 24 languages. He is the prime mover and co-director of the project Word Express (www.word-express.org) and also a member of the editorial board of the international literary magazine Blesok, based in Macedonia. His poetry is not only the careful selection of words and images, but also a fertile field on which he interprets the present and the future with a cinematic approach.

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