The One Who Writes

You write. About the things that already exist.
And they say you fantasize.

You keep quiet. Like the sunken nets
of poachers. Like an angel
who knows what the night may bring.

And you travel. You forget,
so that you can come back.

You write and you don’t want to remember
the stone, the sea, the believers
sleeping with their hands apart.

by Nikola Madzirov

‘The One Who Writes’ is copyright © Nikola Madzirov, 2011. It is reprinted by permission of BOA Editions from Remnants of Another Age, translated by Peggy and Graham W. Reid, Magdalena Horvat and Adam Reed, and with a Foreword by Carolyn Forché. BOA has today featured Nikola Madzirov’s work on its blog.

Notes from BOA Editions:

Born into a family of Balkan Wars refugees in 1973 in Strumica, Macedonia, poet, essayist and translator Nikola Madzirov has emerged as one of the most powerful voices of the new European poetry. His work has been translated into thirty languages and published in collections and anthologies in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Two short films based on his poetry have been shot in Bulgaria and Croatia. Oliver Lake, the contemporary jazz composer who has previously collaborated with Björk and Lou Reed, has composed music based on Madzirov’s poetry, which was performed at the Jazz-Poetry Concert in Pittsburgh in 2008. You can read another poem from Remnants of Another Age here, and a recent interview with Madzirov here. You can also see and hear Madzirov reading from his work in this video from March 2011.

BOA Editions, Ltd., a not-for-profit publisher of poetry and other literary works, fosters readership and appreciation of contemporary literature. By identifying, cultivating, and publishing both new and established poets and selecting authors of unique literary talent, BOA brings high quality literature to the public. Support for this effort comes from the sale of its publications, grant funding, and private donations. This year BOA celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary. To find out more about BOA Editions, click here. You can also find and ‘like’ BOA on Facebook, and follow the publisher on Twitter by searching for @boaeditions.