Darko Šeparović

- Croatia -

Darko Šeparović born in 1987, grew up in Vela Luka on the island of Korčula (Croatia). He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb. He has published poetry and prose, as well as literary reviews and interviews in Zarez, Quorum, Autsajderski fragmenti, knjigomat.com, agoncasopis.com and elsewhere. His short story Uredan rukopis (Neat handwriting) was published within the collective book Ispod stola (Underneath the Table). For the manuscript Privikavanje (Adjusting) he was commended at the competition for the award Goran for young poets in 2012, while the manuscript Autopilot brought him the award Na vrh jezika for best young poet in 2014/15. He owns a boat skipper license. He lives between Vela Luka and Zagreb.

Kruno Lokotar, the editor of Autopilot considers Šeparović’s first work to be “one of those collections which, and I am risking of sounding arrogant in my prediction because I am completely certain about it, will be declared the new voice of a coming generation, or something like that, after which it will gain a cult status and with time approach classic poetry and ingrain itself in memory”. The burden is of course on the author to justify such high expectations with new publications. There seems to be no need for concern, since the width of Šaparović’s poetic scope is exceptional, the space for maneuver is wide and yet, at the same time, poetically defined. Darko Šeparović produces verses with ease which could become refrains and prop-phrases: new age will always be written in italics / all romance has deadly statistics; originally combining juxtaposed elements we'll certainly find something/ warm and sharp/ a two-way ticket // the knife in your hand; humorously twisting perspectives: I think that for every broken glass / you say; it's not me / it's the glass; creating urban-lyrical melancholic ambient: they are measuring how soon the snow will amputate the roads / after that / there is no going on. With such tools, which reflect his bread-winning profession, architecture, with poems whose architecture lies on exuberant but not wild associations, and when part of the vocabulary is taken from his profession – you can truly say that this collection has an autopilot. It surely flies without much pushing and interventions, and it certainly lands softly on the better pages of our contemporary poetry.

According to a popular poet and prose writer, Ivica Pretrnjača, “Autopilot by Darko Šeparović certainly belongs to the top when it comes to the quality of the books which were published as part of the Na vrh jezika competition,” and it seems to him that it is “one of the better books of poetry published in 2015, a year with little published poetry.”

            Šeparović’s poems are contemporary in the full sense of the word – not only because they poetically correspond with the dominant direction of Croatian poetic production, as well as that of the Western literary scene in general, but also because they are very directly – in a thematic and motivational sense, as well as by the espoused worldview – ascribed to the so-called generation Y, immersed into the vibrant and poly-perspective raster of the hyper computerized, stratified world around us, which allows itself to be more and more, consciously or subconsciously, identified with its own simulacrum. The poet’s verses marginally touch upon the basic problems of this age, dealing with: social anomalies which result from the late capitalist final usurpation of work in favor of profit, the fate of the “freeman” and the precarious “creative class”; in a somewhat resigned way, it also deals with the edges of urban melancholy – the day and night routine of thousands of young women and men of similar age, whose lives are torn between the more or less established urban existence, the tendency towards a realization of self in some field of art, and endless night parties which result in a general generation-wide hangover.

            Thinking about the relationship between architecture and literature, and the society that frames them, the author writes: “There is exactly as much architecture in my poetry as there are subjects in the architectural profession today, meaning, very little. One of the deficiencies of architecture when compared to literature is the 1:1 measure. For a complete experience of a space, we need to enter buildings, touch walls, and spend a certain amount of time in a house, open doors, while we can always carry a book with us. Entering a poem/story/novel is different from entering into architecture in the same way that turning a page is different from walking through a building, mechanically and cognitively. In creating literature we have a moral and aesthetic responsibility exclusively towards the text and ourselves. There are no investors hovering above the page, or lawmakers who determine what can and cannot be built. In that sense, literature can save us in a way, even though words are sometimes more deadly than the poorly set concrete foundations.”

Audio recording: Darko Šeparović reads with the music of Emil Andreis / live @ Funk Club