Evelina Rudan: blue vitriol

Evelina Rudan, born in 1971, was raised on the Adriatic coast, in the city of Pula. She earned her degree in Croatian Studies and Southern Slavic Philology from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb. Rudan also holds a PhD in oral languages from her alma mater and now teaches there, in the Croatian Studies Department. She was the 2007 recipient of the Drago Gervais prize, awarded for her manuscript collection of poems: Breki and Ćuki. She has published many collections of poetry, including: Breki i Ćuki (2008) (Dogs and Owls), Pristojne ptice (2008) (Decent Birds), Uvjerljiv vrt (2003) (A Convincing Garden), Posljednja topla noć (2002, along with coauthors Slađan Lipovec and Denis Peričić) (The Last Warm Night) and Sve ča mi rabi ovega prolića (2000) (All I Need This Spring). All of her poetry collections are written in both standard Croatian and in the Chakavian dialect. Most recently she has published a monography, Vile s Učke. Žanr, kontekst, izvedba i nadnaravna bića predaja (2016) (Fairies from Učka. Genre, context, performance and supernatural Beings of Legends). She also wrote the picturebook, Little Prince’s Dream (2010), which was illustrated by Sven Nemet. Her poems have been translated into various Slavic and European languages.

Read her picturesque poem about wine country below.
Translation by Hana Dada Banak.


Mira Petrović: Anything Could Happen

Mira Petrović was born in 1989 in Split. She holds a degree in English language and literature and Italian literature and language from the University of Split. Her short stories have appeared in various online publications. She lives and works in Split as an English language teacher.

Petrović’s story is not the typical tale of forbidden love and lust. She explores passion and longing from two opposing perspectives. On one side stands youthful worldly openness and on the other the intense frustrations and disappointments that come with unfulfilled desires at a certain age, further compounded by the constraints of small town mores.

Read her short story, Anything Could Happen, below.
Translation by Nikica Mihaljević.


Simo Mraović: Selected Poems

In Natalija Grgorinić and Ognjen Rađen’s touching tribute to Simo Mraović, the good-natured, ‘good spirit of Croatian literature’ as the writer, Edo Popovic’ described him, they recount their friendship with him and present a selection of his abundant poems which they translated into English on their website, Mraović (b. 1966, Kutina) published six volumes of poetry, a novel, Konstantin Bogobojazni (2002), a collection of essays, Varaj me nježno (2006) (Deceive Me Gently) and a collection of short stories, Bajke za plaže (2007) (Fairytales for the Beach), before his early death from cancer in 2008.

Mraović remarked in one interview: “Good poets, and even bad ones are simply the guardians and the engines of language. Language doesn’t develop through prose. One day the whole world will be explained through poetry and mathematics.” (Mraović, Simo. Interviewed by Edo Popović, moderna vremena, 3.6.2002).

Read a selection of Mraovic’s poems. Translations by Natalija Grgorinić and Ognjen Rađen.


Alen Brlek: Blue

Alen Brlek was born in Zagreb in 1988, but grew up in the coastal towns of Rovinj and Pula. His first volume of poetry, Metakmorfoze (2014,) won the Na vrh jezika award for the best poetry by an author younger than 35. He recently published another collection of poems Pratišina (2017). You can hear him reciting his poetry as part of a performance art project called Zaron that he collaborates on with Darko Šeparović, a poet, and Emil Andreis, a musician.

Brlek has described his approach to poetry as not an escape from reality but a confrontation with it. “Through poetry I’ve reached some depths which are innate to us, but we avoid them because of fear, shame or some such thing because the world is defined that way.” (Brlek, Alen. Interviewed by Tijana Živko,, 14.2.2015).

Read Brlek’s poem, Blue, below. Translation by Mirza Puric.


Jurica Pavičić: Saturday Showdown

Jurica Pavičić is best known as an award-wining journalist, who writes a weekly column for the national, daily newspaper, Jutarnji List. He is also a film critic, a college professor and a novelist. He recently finished his seventh novel, Crvena Voda (2017) (Red Water).

In Saturday Showdown, Pavičić explores the themes of familial obligation and self-determination in a story that is uniquely Croatian, in a place where multi-generational households are still common and opportunity doesn’t come knocking twice.

Read Pavičić’s short story below. Translation by Will Firth.


Đurđa Otržan: The Four Most Still...

Đurđa Otržan (1953), a native of Bjelovar, holds degrees in comparative literature and musicology from the University of Zagreb. She served as the editor of the classical music show for Croatian Radio’s Third Program for many years and also worked for several years as the editor of the European Union Radio’s night program with classical music (Euroclassic Notturno). She’s written several screenplays, Volunteer (1984), the award-winning Parthian Shot (1990), and Silicon Horizon (1991) as well as three books, Prizor s kopljem (1988) (Scene with a Spear) and Penthesilea (2002) and Šah među zvijezdama (2002) (Chess among Stars). Her writing has been featured in various art shows in the UK and Germany.


Zoran Pilić: No Harm From Them

Zoran Pilić was born in 1966 in Zagreb. He was chosen by the European-wide literary project, Literary Europe Live, as one of their Ten New Voices of Europe in 2016. He has written two novels and several collections of short stories, one of which was turned into a play (Doggiestyle (2007)). The Croatian Ministry of Culture named his novel, Đavli od papira (2012) (Paper Devils), one of the best novels of 2012. His collection of short stories, Nema slonova u Meksiku (2014) (There Are No Elephants in Mexico) was also recognized by the Ministry of Culture as one of the best books in 2014. Pilić won the European Short Story Festival prize in 2015 with his story Kad su Divovi hodali zemljom (When Giants Walked the Earth). He has also published the novel Krimskrams (2009) and a collection of poetry, Dendermonde (2013). His short stories have been translated into English, German, Macedonian and Spanish.

Read Pilić's short story, No Harm From Them, below. Translation by Tomislav Kuzmanović.


Damir Karakaš: Excerpt from Remembering Forest

Karakaš’s vivid descriptions will jolt you into the world he grew up in- a remote, conservative community in Croatia’s mountainous region of Lika. He was always different and the simple, traditional values of his small village struggled to contain his vast imagination. When his first grade teacher called him a thoughtful boy, his mother considered it an insult or at the very least, a cause for concern. (Karakaš, Damir. Interviewed by Mirjana Dugandžija, Jutarnji List, 29.1.2017).

Read an excerpt from Karakaš’s semi-autobiographical novel, Remembering Forest below. Translation by Tomislav Kuzmanović.


Dora Šustić: Two Madonnas in a Hair Salon

Born in Rijeka, Croatia, Dora Šustić (1991) obtained her BA in Political Studies, International Relations, at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia. In 2012, she moved to Prague, where she currently studies screenwriting for an MA degree at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). Her poems, fiction and non-fiction have been published in several international journals (GUTS Magazine, Hourglass Literary Magazine, Bosphorus Review of Books...). She has written and directed several short films and is currently finishing her first feature film screenplay, Virgins of Pomegranates.

Read her short story, Two Madonnas in a Hair Salon, below. The story was written in English.


Ivan Vidak: Nokturne

Ivan Vidak (1981) hails from Sombor, a town in the historically multi-ethnic region of Vojvodina in Serbia. He earned a degree in Dramaturgy from the Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Zagreb. His collection of short stories Ugljik na suncu (2015) (Carbon in the Sun) was short-listed for the regional award, Edo Budiša. Vidak lives and works in Zagreb.

Read his short story, Nocturne, below. Translation by Sandra Juzbašić.


Boris Greiner: Excerpt from She and He

Where does the self end and the self of our closest loved ones begin? Boris Greiner thoughtfully and philosophically explores the deep, inner workings of intimacy from the perspective of one half of a couple in this excerpt from his novel, Ona i On (2013) (She and He).

Boris Greiner, born in Zagreb in 1959, is a multi-faceted artist whose reach across the art, literature and film scenes in Croatia is extensive. He is the author of seven published books, the director of ten experimental films, and has performed in over twenty solo exhibitions and performances. He was a member of various well-known artist collectives for many years. His published literary works include: Interkonfidental (with Stanislav Habjan) (1999); the novel, Pješakov gambit (2003) (Pawn’s Gambit); the collection of short stories, Život na tavanu (2007) (Life in the Attic); the novel, Tajni agent Gan Flint (2012) (Secret Agent Gan Flint); and the novel Ona i On (2013) (She and He).

Read an excerpt from Greiner’s novel, She and He (2013), below. Translation by Sandra Jubašić.


The History of Science and Fantasy Fiction in Croatia

According to Milena Benini, science and fantasy fiction has a long and unusual history in Croatia. Many women authors are among the most well-known and prominent in the genre.


Daša Drndić's Belladonna Shortlisted for First EBRD Prize

The new prize, awarded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, honors excellent English translations of books from countries where the bank operates- a vast stretch of land spanning from Central Europe to Central Asia. Dasa Drndic’s Belladonna, translated by Celia Hawkesworth, was shortlisted along with the Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk’s Red Woman. Tea Tulic’s novel, Hair Everywhere, which was translated by Coral Petkovich was longlisted for the prize. The 20,000 euro prize is split evenly between author and translator as the award intends to encourage more high quality English translations of authors from these regions. The winner will be announced in April, 2018.


Zagreb's Socialist Urbanism

The delightful pastel colors of Zagreb’s Austo-Hungarian era buildings in the historical downtown are usually what grabs tourists’ attention. However, savvier visitors who want to experience the whole city should not neglect the most obvious remnant of Zagreb’s socialist past- its Brutalist architecture. Some cultural icons from Yugoslavia have also endured the test of time from beloved brands that can still be found in stores today to music from the vibrant rock scene of the 70s and 80s. The truly adventurous can even step back in time in the odd café or restaurant in Zagreb that hasn’t yet abandoned its socialist roots.


Damir Karakaš wins Fric Award

On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 the literary Friz Award Ceremony was held in the Foyer of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. The award was granted to Damir Karakaš for his novel, Memories of a Forest.
The Fric Award which takes its name from Miroslav Krleža's nickname was launched by the weekly magazine Express with the desire to position it as an award for literary works that in their widest sense reflect contemporaneity.


Anita Pajević: Four Poems

Anita Pajević (b. 1989) is from Mostar. She holds a bachelor's degree in Croatian Language and Literature from the University of Mostar. She earned the first place Mak Dizdar award for the best unpublished poetry manuscript in 2015. Her collection of poems, Perlinov šum (2016) (Perlin’s Noise), won the second place award from the Foundation of Nijaz Slipičević.


Moonlee - regional scenebuilder

The spread of influence from Serbian Repetitor to Croatian Vlasta Popić helped solidify Moonlee’s reputation as a regional scenebuilder (local scenes in Zagreb and Belgrade continue to thrive, with the shoegazey Žen and dreampop Bitipatibi among the standouts).
Ščapec’s Zagreb-based Vlasta Popić emerged in 2011. They won fans in both Jarboli and Repetitor, with Jarboli’s Mladenović recording their first album. The group’s second record, Kvadrat (“Square”), is one the best examples of Moonlee’s output and probably one of the greatest rock records put out by anyone in 2015.
By: Tom Nash


Croatian popular music

Ivo Robić was one of the first acclaimed popular music artists in Croatia during the existence of the former Yugoslavia. He emerged in the late 1940s and later launched a very successful international career as well, closely cooperating with the famous composer and Polydor producer Bert Kaempfert, whom he convinced to produce the then upcoming act The Beatles after seeing them performing in the Top Ten Club in Hamburg. Robić is the author of the famous schlager that was later popularized by Frank Sinatra as Strangers in the Night.

Croatia is known for its specific Dalmatian folk music sound which mixed with various forms of popular music is represented at the festivals held on the Adriatic coast, such as the Split Festival and formerly the Opatija Festival. This style of music is similar to the Italian Canzone and the Sanremo Music Festival and some of its most notable act are Oliver Dragojević and Mišo Kovač.


From Pioneer Croatian Settlers to the Oldest Family Owned Winery in New Zealand

Historian and author Kaye Dragicevich has been extensively researching the far north of New Zealand, the area where a large number of pioneering families came from Croatia in search of a better life over 100 years ago.
Her new book, titled "Pioneer Dalmatian Settlers of the Far North", took four years to complete and features 200 interesting stories of families who arrived in New Zealand’s gumfield area in the far north from Croatia. It also includes 900 historical photographs.

CM extensions

Joško Marušić: Fisheye (a short animated film)

The Zagreb School of Animation was opened in 1956 and quickly gained international acclaim when the short film, Surogat, by Dušan Vukotić won an Oscar. (Wikipedia).

Read an article about Joško Marušić, an animator from the Zagreb school, in The Paris Review, and watch his short film, Riblje oko (Fisheye) from 1980 in the link below.


Marko Gregur: Booze Mirinda

Marko Gregur (1982) hails from Koprivnica. He has authored a book of poetry, Lirska grafomanija (2011), two collections of short stories Peglica u prosincu (2012), and Divan dan za Drinkopoly (2014) (A Fine Day for Drinkopoloy) and a novel, Kak je zgorel presvetli Trombetassicz (2017). His short stories and poetry have appeared in many Croatian and international literary magazines as well as the anthology of prose by young Croatian writers, Bez vrata, bez kucanja (2012) (No Doors, No Knocking). Gregur has received multiple awards for his writing, including the Ulaznica award as well as the Prozak award for the best prose by anyone in Croatia under the age of 35.


Croatian Phrases Translated into English

Do you find phrases and sayings give personality and flair to a language? Have you ever pondered how the culture and history of a place shape the common phrases? Check out some common sayings in Croatian with their literal translations and actual meanings below.


Discover Croatia's Archaeological Secrets

Discover Croatia’s rich archaeological secrets, from the well known ancient Roman city of Salona near Split or the Neanderthal museum in Krapina to the often overlooked Andautonia Archaeological Park, just outside of Zagreb, which boasts the excavated ruins of a Roman town or the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe, Vinkovci.


Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future - Multimedia Exhibition in Zagreb

A spectacular multimedia exhibition honouring Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest visionaries, titled ‘Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future’, will stay open until 20 March 2018.
“Immersed into the magical world of the genius Nikola Tesla, by merging the elements of a ‘live’ film, video set design, computer game, and magical hologram and light adventure into a unique multimedia experience of extended reality, with this exhibition we seek to take you on a contemplative ‘journey’ without beginning or end, through a process of inspiration, creativity and production.” - Helena Bulaja Madunić, exhibition author


Hollywood and Dubrovnik

The medieval city in Croatia is having a geek-culture moment as the setting for King’s Landing in the HBO series “Game of Thrones”.
Hollywood seems to have discovered Dubrovnik. Parts of The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the Star Wars saga, also take place in the fortress town. Filming wrapped this year on a new Robin Hood film starring Taron Eagerton, Jamie Foxx, and Jamie Dornan (and produced by Leonard DiCaprio). The 25th James Bond film is reported to begin shooting in the city in January 2018.
But not everyone appreciates all the attention.


Great films shot in Zagreb

There's a surprising raft of indelible productions shot in and around Croatia's capital, like the world-dominating spy-caper 'James Bond: From Russia with Love' and Orson Welles' interpretation of Kafka's absurd, existentialist novel 'The Trial'...


LitLink Thoughts. The Publisher's View by Mitch Albert, Periscope Books.

The curation of a festival of literature naturally entails the “curation” of its participants. Lit Link excelled in this regard – the authors invited from the UK represented a very fine, accomplished tranche of contemporary British writing, and the publishers, for the most part, represented a scrappy, independent ethos and pride in advancing thought-provoking fiction and literary fiction in translation.


LitLink. The Editor's View. By: Anna Kelly

As far as I know, LitLink festival is unique. Each year it takes a group of writers and publishers to three Croatian cities – Pula, Rijeka, and Zagreb – for a series of evening readings. Along the way there are coach journeys on winding roads, stunning vistas of deep green fields and icy mountains, excellent Croatian wine and food, sea swimming, plenty of book chat...


A very rough guide to LitLink. The Author's View. By: Joanna Kavenna

Each night there is a bilingual Croatian-English event. Translations are projected behind the writers as they read. It becomes apparent that many contemporary Croatian writers are high ironists, forging dark comedy from aspects of life that most disturb them – war, corruption, the riotous hypocrisy of those who claim to govern us.
The tour runs from Zagreb to Pula to Rijeka...


Olja Savičević Ivančević: Singer in the Night review

Read a review of the much acclaimed contemporary Croatian writer, Olja Savičević Ivančević’s book, Pjevač u noći (2016) (Singer in the Night).


New wave in Yugoslavia

As its counterparts, the British and the US new wave, from which the main influences came, the Yugoslav scene was also closely related to punk rock, ska, reggae, 2 Tone, power pop and mod revival.
Important artists were: Azra, Šarlo Akrobata, Idoli (famous for their song "Maljčiki" and its respective video in which they ridiculed the soviet soc-realism), Pankrti (first Yugoslav punk band), Prljavo kazalište (started as a punk unit; the title of their second album Crno-bijeli svijet which means "black and white world" holds a reference to the 2 Tone movement), Električni Orgazam (punk at the beginning, they moved towards post-punk and psychedelia later and were described as "The Punk Doors"), Slađana Milošević, Haustor (mostly reggae, ska and similar influences, but with a more poetic and intellectual approach compared to some danceable bands), Buldožer, Laboratorija Zvuka, Film (one of the first new wave groups), Lačni Franz and many others.
New wave was especially advocated by the magazines Polet from Zagreb and Džuboks from Belgrade.


Croatian Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

A little know fact is that Croatia, together with Spain, have the most cultural and historical heritage under the protection of UNESCO, and Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods of any European country.


Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.


Zagreb Festivals and Cultural Events

Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.

Authors' pages

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