Dalibor Šimpraga’s publishing credits include his novel, Anastasia (2007), a collection of short stories, Kavice Andreja Puplina (2002), and an anthology of new Croatian prose of the 1990s, 22 u hladu (2002). He is a cultural editor for the widely circulated weekly magazine, Globus. He co-founded the literary magazine, Fantom slobode. His debut novel, Anastasia (2007), received the well-respected t-portal prize for best novel of the year.
Born in Zagreb in 1969, he still resides there and graduated from the University of Zagreb with a degree in Croatian and Southern Slavic Literature and Linguistics.
Roman Simić is a poet, an author and an editor. He has written a book of poetry and three collections of short stories. He is the Artistic Director for the "Festival of the European Short Story", an annual festival held in Croatia since 2002. He is also an editor for the Croatian literary magazine, Relations, which is published in foreign languages. His book, U što se zaljubljujemo (What Are We Falling in Love With) received the prestigious Jutarnji list prize (2005) for the best book of prose. His award winning short stories have been translated into many languages.
Roman Simić was born in Zadar and holds a degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Zagreb. He resides in Zagreb and works as an editor.
Poet, journalist and a winner of the most prestigious poetry award 'Goranov vijenac', Gordana Benić was born in Split in 1950. She studied Croatian literature and philosophy in Zadar, completing her postgraduate studies in literature in Zagreb. For years she worked in Slobodna Dalmacija, the local paper, concentrating on historical monuments. In 2000 she received the Vicko Andrić conservation award for her articles on national historical monuments. Her poetry can be regarded as part of a significant movement in Croatian literature, that of the prose poem, which continues to resist fashionable trends and the commercial demands of a national literary marketplace made up as it goes along. Benić is indisputably one of the most important figures in that movement.
Ivan Sršen’s novel Harmattan deftly tracks the plight of Uhunoma, a young Nigerian woman caught in the logic-defying limbo of the German penal system for doing nothing more than trying to live a better life. But as Uhunoma learns as she comes to terms with the circumstances that have delivered her and other women to this facility, the abyss of European Union bureaucracy has little interest in the individuals whom are subjected to its whims, the same as the unforgiving Saharan
winter wind, which the novel is named after, cares not about what it relentlessly covers and smothers with dust year after year. While Uhunoma’s only crime was entering Europe without the proper papers, her incarceration brings her into close contact with myriad criminals from all over Africa and Eastern Europe—drug dealers, murderers, and women forced to make tough decisions just to survive. Harmattan tells a story that is becoming all too universal as borders the world over become more porous and less defined, both literally and figuratively. The implications of this on the human spirit transcend all boundaries.
AUTHOR BIO: Born in 1979. In 2007 he started the Zagreb-based
independent publisher Sandorf and he is also an editor, translator, writer, and literary agent. Prior to Harmattan, published in 2014 by Durieux, Sršen had published a book of short stories (2010) and a popular study on the history of Zagreb’s libraries (2010; co-authored by Daniel Glavan).
He has translated from English Croatian editions of Get in the Van by Henry Rollins and The Real Frank Zappa Book by Frank Zappa. Along with two other translators, he translated selected works of Robert Graves to Croatian, and edited Zagreb Noir for Akashic Books, while still writing novels and short stories.
The first art intervention on Peristil took place on January 11 of 1968. That morning the citizens woke up to a shock of seeing one of the main squares painted red. It did not take long to found out who were the perpetrators. A group of students (Pavao Dulčić, Tomo Čaleta, Vladimir Dodig – Trokut, Slaven Sumić, Nenad Đapić, Radovan Kogej, Srđan Blažević i Denis Dokić) spilled red paint on the square as a presentation of their dissatisfaction with the political and artistic scene of the time. The action is still mystified and serves as an inspiration for many other actions.
/by Mario Vuksa/
Rumena Bužarovska (Skopje, Macedonia, 1981) is one of 10 New Voices from Europe 2016, selected by Literary Europe Live, and one of the most popular translated authors in Croatia. Bužarovska is the author of three short story collections – Čkrtki (Scribbles, Ili-ili, 2007), Osmica (Wisdom Tooth, Blesok, 2010) and Mojot maž (My Husband, Blesok, 2014; Ili-ili, 2015). She is a literary translator from English into Macedonian and her translations include Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking Glass), J.M. Coetzee (The Life and Times of Michael K), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Richard Gwyn (The Colour of a Dog Running Away). She is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the State University of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia.
Selected poems from "First Step into Darkness" and "Wild Animals Crossing"
Translated from Croatian by Majda and Damir Šodan
Ivana Bodrožić was born in Vukovar in 1982. In 2005, she published her first poetry collection entitled Prvi korak u tamu (The First Step into Darkness) as part of the Goran Award for young poets.
Her first novel Hotel Zagorje (Hotel Tito) was published in 2010. The novel has been published at numerous respectful publishing houses and received a prestigious Prix Ulysee for the best debut novel in France, as well as numerous important awards in Croatia and the Balkan area such as the Kočićevo Pero Award, Josip and Ivan Kozarac Award, and Kiklop Award for the best work of fiction in 2010.
She has since published her second poetry collection Prijelaz za divlje životinje (A Road for Wild Animals) and a short story collection 100% pamuk (100% Cotton), which has also received a regional award.
Her works have been translated to German, French, Czech, Danish, Slovenian, Spanish, Macedonian.
“Butchers” (Mesari), a collection of poems by Drago Glamuzina, won the Vladimir Nazor Book of the Year Award and the Kvirin Prize for the Best Book of Poetry in Croatia, and was translated into German, Macedonian and Slovene.
Glamuzina was born in Vrgorac in 1967. His publications include Mesari (Butchers, poetry, 2001), Tri (Three, a novel, 2008), Je li to sve (Is That All, poetry, 2009), Everest (poetry, 2016)...
“Love and jealousy through a clash of one body against another become the origins of speaking about life and the world in general. Glamuzina’s act of switching the idyllic love couple with a dramatic love triangle ignites the lyrical narration that spreads in different directions. (…) His “butchers” often cut at the most sensitive spots.” (K. Bagić)
Samuel (formerly known as Srdjan) Sacher is a composer, songwriter and poet. He was born 1955 in Zagreb, Croatia. Samuel studied archeology and ethnology at the University of Zagreb, but dropped out before graduation to pursue a professional music career. From 1980, he has been an active songwriter, singer and bass player in four Croatian bands - Haustor, Dee Dee Mellow, Brojani, and Vjestice. From the begining of his career, Samuel Sacher has been involved in TV and theatre production as a composer, songwriter or performer.
One of the great Croatian lyric poets in the 20th century, Tin Ujević (1891 – 1955) has hardly been translated at all into English. His Collected Works number 16 volumes, and he is greatly loved as a lyric poet in Croatia as well as all the other countries of former Yugoslavia. Tin is a writer of voluminous intellect, whose use of language, gentle musicality, purity of literary form and mournful, melancholic sensibility are reminiscent in many ways of Verlaine. He lived simply, and was a frequenter of bars and cafés.
Ujević was born in Vrgorac (Dalmatia). He lived at various times in Zagreb, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Split and Paris.
It was the port city of Rijeka that led the way when it came to Croatia’s relationship with the electric guitar, and it is Rijeka that preserves most in terms of rock and roll heritage today. Label boss Goran Lisica Fox famously described Rijeka as a ‘musical Galapagos’, a self-contained city that always stood apart from the main landmass of popular culture. Indeed the city’s position in Croatia can be compared to that of Manchester in the UK: a place whose mixture of provincial isolation and self-reliance paradoxically puts it at the centre of national creativity.
Dubravka Ugrešić’s work takes center stage in the most recent issue of World Literature Today. She is the winner of the 2016 Neustadt Prize.
As could be expected given the upheaval in this part of the world throughout much of the 20th and 21st century, social issues and questions of identity figure strongly with many Croatian writers. Older and more conservative/right-wing writers are sometimes preoccupied with national identity, whereas younger authors tend to have a more diversified approach, looking at subcultural themes, gender/sexuality, social problems, economic migration, etc. There is a lot of sensitive, experimental and generally eye-opening literature to be discovered.
Only a small fraction of fiction published in English is translated, and only about a quarter of that translated fiction was originally written by women. This is an unfortunate state of affairs. In the second installment of our series from around the world, highlighting works by women we’d love to see reaching an English audience, we offer a literary tour of the western Balkans—specifically, the rich literary territory encompassing Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Darija Žilić is a poet, literary critic, translator, moderator, and one of the editors of literary journal Tema, born in Zagreb in 1972. She graduated in comparative literature and history from the University of Zagreb. Her published works includes Breasts and Strawberries (poetry, 2005), To Write in Milk (Essays on Contemporary Poetry, 2008), Muse outside Ghetto: Essays on Contemporary Literature (Julije Benešić award for the best book by critics in Croatia in 2012), Nomads and hybrids: Essays on Contemporary Literature and Film (2010), Parallel Gardens: Interviews with Theorists, Writers and Activists (2010), Tropics: Critics about Contemporary Poetry (2011), Dance, Modesty, Dance (Kiklop award for the best poetry book in 2010 in Croatia), Omara (prose, 2012) and Tropics 2: critics about poetry, prose and society (2014.)
Jagoda Marinić is a prize-winning author, novelist, playwright, essayist, journalist and the head of the International Welcome Center in Heidelberg. She was born to Croatian parents and grew up bilingually. "Spiegel" called her 2007 debut novel "Die Namenlose" one of the most important new releases of that year. In 2013 she released "Restaurant Dalmatia" to critical acclaim. "Made in Germany. Was ist deutsch in Deutschland" was released in May 2016 in German.
Andrea Pisac, a fiction writer and cultural anthropologist, takes her friend Linda for a walk through the magical Tuškanac forest and that's where this literary tour begins: not only did they learn about the greatest Croatian writers, but they also gave thanks to the amazing sculptors who immortalized them.
Eight poetry books by Croatian poets and poetesses have been translated into French and published by the French publishing house L'Ollave within the edition "Domaine croate/ Poésie". The editor-in-chief Jean de Breyne launched this special edition in 2012 in order to introduce the readers with this very prolific and heterogeneous poetic production of whose existence the French public was previously almost completely unaware.
Vogue’s recognition of its Startas sneakers is only the latest sign that the humbled economic giant in Vukovar is on the way back up.
Six of Krleža's books have been translated into French: The Burial at Theresienburg (short stories, Editions de Minuit, translated by Antun Polanšćak, preface by Leon-Pierre Quint, Paris, 1956.), The Return of Philip Latinovicz (novel, edited by Calman-Lévy, translated by Mila Đorđević and Ciara Malraux, Paris, 1957.], The Banquet in Blithuania (novel, edited by Calman-Lévy, translated by Mauricette Beguitch, Paris, 1964.), I’m not Playing Anymore (novel, Edition de Seuil, translated by Janine Matillon, Paris, 1969.], Mars, Croatian God (short stories, Edition Calman-Lévy, translated by Janine Matillon and Antun Polanšćak, Paris, 1971.), The Ballads of Petritsa Kerempuh (Edition: Presses orientales de France, translated by Janine Matillon). All these books were well received. We give here some extracts from criticisms (Maurice Nadeau, Léon Pierre Quint, Claude Roy, Marcel Schneider, Robert Bréchon, Jean Bloch-Michel and others) who provide various insights into Krleža`s work.
The article was originally published in Most/The Bridge literary review (number 3-4, 1979).
"It’s called Rijecki Novi Val. (Novi Val is Croatian for New Wave.) This is one of the best collections of anything I ever acquired. Punk and New Wave were huge in the Balkans. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: the ex-YU countries are responsible for the some of the best punk music made anywhere."
Starting out in 1987, Croatian record label Slusaj Najglasnije! (or Listen Loudest!) documented many of Croatia’s greatest bands, including Majke, Hali Gali Halid, Satan Panonski, Bambi Molestors, and many others. Over time, Listen Loudest! evolved, and today releases music from artists the world around. The mastermind behind Listen Loudest, Zdenko Franjic, has been kept his label/life mission together for over thirty years without a break.
Many try to create new and authentic souvenirs that would remind the tourists of an unforgettable holiday in our lovely country. One thing remains unclear: if Croatia is so fantastic, why do we need to praise it so much? And exaggerate? Instead, the authors decided to inaugurate a completely new concept and give a humble and objective presentation.
Once upon a time there was a country, and that country made films. The films produced in the former Yugoslavia remain fascinating for anyone interested in the country or in films. This list is by no means definitive, for Yugoslav cinema is too rich and varied for that. It is rather, a primer for those unfamiliar with the region, the best bits from each era and each generation.
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.
In the last couple of years, various collections of electronic music from former Yugoslavia popped up, ranging from numerous downloadable CDR mixtapes to official compilation albums. Yet there are several more waiting in line to be pressed and, as you will see, these are most definitely worth waiting for.
The finalists were the novels “The Brass Times” by Slobodan Šnajder, “Alone by the Sea” by Zoran Ferić, “No Signal Area” by Robert Perišić, “Skin-coloured Cloud” by Nebojša Lujanović, and “Your Son Huckleberry Finn” by Bekim Sejranović.
The monthly publication was launched with the aim of establishing closer mutual trust and offering information to people who were forced to leave their homes in search of protection and security, it was said at the launch.
Most of the newspapers' authors are asylum-seekers.
The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.
Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.
Watching Croatian movies is a great way to learn more about the country before an actual visit. And since cartoons are movies as well here is a list of what to see and what to expect from the world of Croatian animation.
Marko Tomaš (Ljubljana, 1978) was one of the founders and editors of the Kolaps literary magazine in Sarajevo. He has worked as a journalist and radio speaker and has published extensively all across the region. He is a poet of a rare sensuality and emotional refinement with a rarefied bohemian touch reminiscent somewhat of young Leonard Cohen. Publications: Hands Under Head (2002), Mama I'm Successful (2004), Life is a Joke (2005), Marko Tomaš and Other Poems (2007), Goodbye Fascists (2009), Midnight Conversations (with Mehmed Begić) (2012), Boulevard of the People's Revolution (2013), The Black Prayer Book (2015).
Although they were produced under strict state-controlled production processes; that were aimed at exploiting them as a means of publicizing political initiatives, promoting public health and safety, and selling the communist ideal both at home and abroad, the artists used them as a vehicle to experiment with various imaginative ideas and artistic techniques, achieving truly stunning results.