/ 27 June 2023

Versopolis Podcast #5: Poetry and Identity

Nikola Madžirov

Identity lies at the heart of poetic expression, but what if the writer feels most at home when he or she is homeless? For poet and writer Nikola Madžirov, one of the leading voices of contemporary European poetry, living in a cave of non-belonging comes naturally. Madžirov 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’. How can poetry transcend borders and national histories and connect us like the mycelium connects the trees in the forest? Nikola explores these questions in conversation with Dr Mitja Drab.

Nikola Madžirov is one of the most powerful voices of new European poetry. His award-winning work has been translated into more than forty languages and published in collections and anthologies in the US, Europe and Asia. He is a recipient of the Miladinov Brothers poetry prize and has been a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. He is also an international co-ordinator for Lyrikline.org and a 2023 member of the jury for the world’s largest international prize for a single book of poetry, The Griffin Poetry Prize.