Katja Grcić (Split, 1982) is a poet, playwright and essayist currently based in Zagreb, Croatia. She holds three MA degrees – in English and German studies (University of Zadar) and Dramaturgy (Academy of Dramatic Arts, Zagreb). As the holder of Tempus scholarship, she attended the Centre for Translation Studies in Vienna, as well as the Südost programme at University of Graz. As an independent researcher she has published two scientific papers: Politics of Fear and Solidarity Mechanisms in Documentary Theatre: Staging Asylum in ‘6’ by Žiga Divjak and Encounters in Other Places: Performative Heterotopia in ‘The Labour of Panic’ by BADco). She translates from German and English. Her translation of Colum McCann’s Apeirogon was recently published in Croatian by Fraktura.
Her debut poetry collection Nosive konstrukcije (Load-bearing Walls) was published in 2015. The irony as the “macrostructural figure” (I. Šunjić) and questioning of the medium of language (M. Pogačar) was followed by the senses-oriented bilingual collection Ljeto/Summer in 2017. As a central focal point of the collection poet and critic Branko Maleš detects desire, placed in the “mythical season of summer”, intertwined with humour and melancholy. In 2020 she published her poetic prose hybrid Pisma Ziti (Letters to Zita). Author and literary critic Mirko Božić detects Bachelardian elements of this text and decodes the spatiality of the rooms as “the ambiance 3D portraits.” Božić praises author’s subtle sense of humour and feministic subtext and acclaims the text about two women as the contemporary “laboratory of spirit.” In the final departure of Zita critic Anja Tomljenović sees the resemblance with the title of Elena Ferrante (Those who leave and those who stay) and emphasizes the “powerful and impressive visuals” throughout the text, as well as the fact that “in pursue for meaning and definition of freedom (…) the author develops the set of scenes that provoke contemplation, all while brilliantly describing the characters in just a few words or sentences.” In 2020 her monodrama Proljeće naše zlovolje (The Spring of Our Discontent) was published in magazine Kazalište (Vol. XXIII No.81/82/83) and staged as a part of Monovid-19 project in ZKM Theatre in Zagreb.
She received several residencies and artistic grants, most remarkably the one by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media in 2020 and Zora Dirnbach grant for scriptwriters in 2021. She is the recipient of awards for playwriting, most notably the prestigious Croatian Marin Držić Prize (2019) for her drama Strah tijela od poda (Body’s Fear of Floor) published by Disput in Hrvatska drama 2019. Her prose was shortlisted for Sedmica Prize in 2017 and her poetry for Drago Gervais Prize in 2021.
photo by Nikola Radovani