Award-winning Macedonian poet is Prairie Schooner's visiting writer

Nikola Madzirov
Nikola Madzirov

Macedonian poet and translator Nikola Madzirov will serve as the Prairie Schooner visiting writer on April 18-19.

In addition to work with UNL faculty and students in the Department of English, Madzirov will deliver two public presentations — a lecture on Balkan literature and translation in the Bailey Dudley Library of Andrews Hall at 1 p.m. April 18 and a reading at 7 p.m. April 19 at the Great Plains Art Museum.

The Tottenville Review wrote that Madzirov is a first-rate poet who deserves worldwide attention, and Der Spiegel says his poems "are similar in quality to the poems of the Nobel Prize winner Tomas Transtromer. They are genuine and open." According to Professor Kwame Dawes, editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner, "few poets I know manage to contain in a few lines such lucid and unsettling images that never let us off the hook for an instant, as well Nikolai Madzirov."

Madzirov was born in Strumica, Macedonia, to a family of Balkan Wars refugees. His award-winning poems have been translated into 30 languages and BOA Editions published his first selection of poetry in the United States, "Remnants of Another Age," in 2011.

In the foreword to "Remnants of Another Age," poet and translator Carolyn Forche wrote, "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.'"

"He is a splendid poet whose reputation is growing rapidly and deservedly," Dawes said. "Beyond that, he is one of the gentlest and kindest people I know. Our students, faculty and community will be enjoying a tremendous presence during his visit. I am so pleased that we managed to get him here."

— Trey Moody, Prairie Schooner