SmallStations - Books in Bulgarian

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.

Ludmila Balabanova is a computer engineer and has a Ph.D. in literature. Her previous books include seven collections of poetry (two of them haiku books) and a book of criticism on haiku (Haiku: A Dragonfly Under the Hat. The Power of the Unsaid, 2014). She is the editor of the anthology Mirrors (101 Bulgarian haiku selected and edited by Ludmila Balabanova in Bulgarian, English and French, 2005). Her works have been published in numerous magazines and included in prestigious anthologies in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and USA. Her most important awards are: Basho’s 360th Anniversary Haiku Award, Japan, 2004; First Award for English Language Haiku at the International Haiku Festival, Constanta, Romania, 2013. In the composition of her haiku, Balabanova “relies more on heart than on intellect in her poetic art of one-breath revelation,” writes David G. Lanoue in his foreword.

Slave Gjorgjo Dimoski lives and writes in Ohrid, Macedonia. He is the author of more than fifteen poetry books. He is President of the famous Struga Poetry Evenings. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages and has received numerous prestigious awards. His poetry impresses most of all because of the artistry of his verse. In his writing he permanently turns to the phenomenon of the Word, of speech as the purpose or sense of his creativity and existence. His poetry embraces earth and sky, but also the spaces above and underneath: the presence of the eternal elder, God.

Vladimir Sabourin was born in Santiago de Cuba. He graduated in Bulgarian Philology in Sofia, where he lives and writes. He is the author of three poetry collections and five critical essays. He teaches classical and Spanish literature at Veliko Tarnovo University. Concerning his latest poetry book, The Worker and Death, the poet Kiril Vasilev writes that it is a combination of an ecstatic wish for justice, of anger without borders and overflowing sorrow. This is an epic-balladic collection in which social realism takes centre stage.

Onur Behramoğlu was born and lives in Istanbul. He is the author of two poetry collections and a book of letters from prison between two of his uncles, the famous writers Ataol Behramoğlu and Nihat Behram. His work has been translated into five languages. He is a columnist for the left-wing daily BirGün. He has declared that poetry is a struggle, not literature, and for this reason he never stands as a candidate for literary awards. He has represented Turkish literature at various poetry festivals in Berlin, Moscow, Sofia, Haifa. His style is reminiscent of a musical composition and full of ideas and themes that occupy the reader’s mind. He has a revolutionary interpretation of life.

Bulgarian readers already know Manuel Rivas from three books published in Bulgarian: his novels, The Carpenter’s Pencil and In the Wilderness, and his collection of short stories, Vermeer’s Milkmaid. This is the first time his poetry has appeared, including selected poems from his first five poetry books and the whole of The Disappearance of Snow. The style of Rivas’ poetry, like that of his fiction, is magical, intriguing and up-to-date. His talent as a journalist makes him appealing even when he talks about past events. His metaphorical expression, dense and surrealistic, doesn’t differentiate between poetry and prose. In his poetry he deals with unexpected comparisons, which topple over one another, borrowing images from far and close, like the Classical and Baroque architecture of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Manuel Rivas builds up the structure of his works with clear, plain writing, showing modesty towards God and the environment.

Samira Negrouche, born in 1980, is an Algerian poet who writes in French. She is the author of several poetry collections and translates from Arabic into French. She is general secretary of the Algerian PEN Club and the initiator of CADMOS, an association for the preservation of Mediterranean cultural heritage. Her work has been translated into Italian and Spanish. Her style is marked by a feminine sensitivity which finds its reflection in an unexplored cartography of the body. Her prose poems bear witness to the condition of the contemporary world and to changes in Arabic countries and beyond. Current themes exist only to attract the attention of the artist, who is the only one who can see their enigma.

Kiril Vasilev’s book Provinces gravitates somewhere between a post-Christian, metaphysical understanding of the world, as described by the critic and poet Ani Ilkov, and the topos not as a centre, but a periphery that has become endless and appeals not for modernity, but for compassion for the death of a human being. This book stands out because of the aesthetics of its stanza, measure, appearance and relevance. It floods abundantly and heavily like the lower current of a river whose alluvium can change even the colour of the sea. A book which will undoubtedly also change our daily routine and point of view.

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