In Zvjezdana Jembrih’s third poetry collection all the potentials of her writing merge and come to full expression. Inspired by the specific space, a village in the Split hinterland, the author creates a series of impressive records, reaching a rare level of literary quality. Details from the chosen environment become triggers for surprising images in which the near and the far, the real and the unreal mix, with not even a shadow of sentimentality or commonplace thinking. The poems gathered in this book were created over several years, by slow distillation of the essentials. The result of this process captivates with the range of poetic imagination, the purity and consistency of the concept, the harmonious blending of direct observation, unobtrusive erudition and the ability to translate into a unique language the emotions stirred by different aspects of a (neglected) landscape and its inhabitants.
Although it could seem that the primary origin of this poetry is the world of words – the author recurrently affirms the experience of reading as something very much alive and inspiring – the contact with her own material environment is equally important for Lidija Dujić. And no matter how linguistically complex, surprising, metaphorical this poetry is, and how far it takes (ironic) distance from reality, it always remains tied to the real moment that triggered poetic imagination and caused poetic language to flow. Singling out some moments, turning flashes of reality into a thoughtful linguistic structure, the poet creates original and meditative images, with a clear awareness of poetry as non-ordinary speech.
Luka Mavretić’s third poetry collection “All My People But Me” is a series of “inner journeys” – journeys that the author announces in the first poems of this very thoughtfully built piece. The young poet balances between lyrical verses and prosaic sentences, he strives towards a refined simplicity and manages to create a conversational tone, which is an important building block of his poetical world. An abundance of motives and a diary-like directness make this book an interesting and fresh collection. Even though he uses interpunction which creates finished, harmonical sentences and gives the text a prosaic tone, his verses remain verses, lines with a natural and easy flow. Despite a breezy atmosphere that the author creates, this is a collection of well thought-through and refined texts – Luka Mavretić is a poet who, in an alchemy of words, transforms chosen glimpses of reality into memorable and luminous images.
Imagination and a certain freedom in his relation to language as well as an authentic poetical experience characterize Josip Čekolj’s first poetry collection. In four parts – four zeals – the lyrical voice of this young and talented author celebrates the novelty of his first worlds, from the home region, both in a concrete and a symbolic form, to the world of family and first loves. The magic of these poems mostly arises from the peculiar shifts from real to surreal, from bright images that depict an underlying emotion. The author builds his space of words, a space that is built from moments he has experienced. This space is often related to motives that originate in nature and in traditional culture, but it is consistently original, full of surprises and freshness.
As a poet of proven skills, Sanja Lovrenčić sketches a mysterious heroine. Who is she? After reading, it is up to us to conclude. Or to let her continue to take shape within us for a long time. For, this collection of poems counts on the cooperation of a careful watcher and listener, a curious reader sensitive to language and its beyond. Sanja Lovrenčić invites us on an adventurous poetic journey through the poems/episodes of a very special, never fully expressible or sharply drawn protagonist, with whose joys, doubts, insights and resignations we easily empathise. (Dorta Jagić, ed.)
Longlisted for the Kamov Award 2021
The third book of poetry by Lidija Dujić, Plastron, Pericardium, includes five cycles of poems: Growers of Ice, The Time of the Desert, A Plate of High Tide, Wagon Tracks and Crop Rotation and Bunker of Angels. It is a poetry full of daring images, unusual associative sequences, rich with references to various fields of human experience. Combining elements from different language levels, the (erudite) author shapes and produces her poetic reality, with its own optics and artistic logic.
In her first poems Sanja Lovrenčić distanced herself in an elitist manner from the descriptiveness of reality and its usual subjects, but now in the collection A River Certainly does Love the Flood she approaches them in a relaxed manner equipped with elements of fairy tales – dreaminess, flax-ness and cotton-ness. Suddenly, for her, everything is utterable, without the pronounced use of the notional labyrinth or the figurative debris prominent with some other writers (…) Sometimes she would reach for the images that are close to a child’s concept of the world. Naturally, it is only an excuse. We are dealing here with a skilful mimicry of childlike tameness and imagination by the complexity and even aggression of adulthood. For our times, the author is really a gentle poet (but not a coy nor a complaining one) who by no means wants to use parasitic additions to make beauty, but neither does she want to use those purely technical, artificial means with “witchcraft” intentions. She is interested in a “walk with pebbles”. In all probably this is what contributed to her being the laureate of the Kiklop Award for the best poetry collection in the year 2007. (Sead Begović)
Kiklop Award for the best poetry book, 2007.