Snezana Stojcevska

- North Macedonia -

Snezana Stojcevska was born in Skopje in 1980. She graduated on the Institute for Pedagogy at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje.

For almost nine years she has been working as a production coordinator at Kvazar Film. In 2012 the publishing house ILI-ILI published her first poetry book “Sugar on the floor”, as part of the Rusalki edition where she has been an editor as well. In 2013 her second poetry book, “Below Zero” won the award “Beli Mugri” awarded by the PI House of culture “Kocho Racin”. In 2015, the “Templum” publishing published her third poetry book “Dark Blue Fantasies”. With the financial support from the Ministry of Culture of Macedonia the publishing house “Antolog” has published her latest poetry book “It Should Be Easy”. Stojceska has been included in numerous anthologies of the young Macedonian poetry. Her poetry has been included in the anthology in Albanian language “The Voice of the Water” which was published as part of the International poetry festival “Days of Naim” edition XIX in 2015. In 2016 she took part at the XV International literary meeting in Velenje, Slovenia. Her poetry was translated into Slovenian and published in the “Festival Anthology of Original and Translated European Poetry of the 21st Century”. Her poetry was included in the anthology “Lyric Dodechameron” edited by prof. Vladimir Martinovski, translated and published in Serbian as well. She took part and performed in numerous poetry festivals in Macedonia and abroad.

Snezana Stojcevska is a poetic voice belonging to Macedonia’s newest poetic generation. Since her first book of poetry “Sugar on the floor” in 2012, she placed herself as a poetess with authentic and fresh poetic statement. The time in which she creates is faceless, alien, devoid of poetic aesthetic. Rare are the quills such as hers which give the gray city a face and soul, which give warmth and color to the bleak faces, which inspire life in poetry. In times of kitsch, turbofolk and fleeting passions, she manages to sustain the pulse of the romantics, to place poetry within the context of life.

In 2013 Stojcevska published the awarded poetic collection “Below zero” (“Koco Racin”), crowned with the prestigious “Beli Mugri” award for the best poetic book of a young author under 35 years of age. For the book, Aleksandra Spaseska writes: The poetic expression of Stojceska moves between fatalism and untiring optimism, between light and dark, between joy and sorrow as the eternal antagonists of existence “You are swallowed by your own Ego. / And you are gone / The saddest part, nobody is left to mourn you.” (“Hungry”). Her verse is free, but not unbridled, the seemingly narrative thoughts are actually condensed discourses for the great questions a woman faces with in her daily existence. As separate poetic pieces, some of the poems carry the message of redemption, disappointment and unrest, but seen as a whole they are a mirror of a wider picture of a careful analysis of behaviors, impressions and consequences from the relationships with herself, with the environment and with feelings, a mosaic of pure poetic thought. Stojcevska does not carry with her the old suitcases. She gives them a worthy place in the past and starts from point zero. From the end to the beginning. From the beginning to the end. A positive zero. A zero with prefix life.

In her third poetic collection with lucid and unavoidable title “Blue fantasies (on the stamp pillow)”, Snezana Stojcevska clearly and loudly says: I would rather like my life to be poetry/ than my poetry to be life.” And truly, from poetry she does not expect an existential support, honors or recognitions, but from life she expects it to be pure, truthful and honest, as any good poetry should be. It is simply staggering how pure, sincere and honest her poems are, in a time when the world is overtaken by consumer frenzy, when the crisis sweeps not only over the material but also the spiritual parts of the human life, when people hurrying from one point to another often lose themselves along the road, but lose also their loved ones, and love becomes taboo or a commercial topic. It is a rarity in contemporary poetry the poet to take an attitude towards the oldest topic, the pain and joy of humanity – love, an attitude which oftentimes turns into a social, political, societal, religious attitude, as the poetess Snezana Stojcevska does. The constructive and deconstructive power of love in her poetry is the weakness of modern humans to face the other person, to face themselves, and face the feelings which are never new, but over and over primordial and key to the existence and the survival of people.

This collection contains three poetic cycles. In the first one, “Insomnia”, love is shown as a multifaceted aspect of the human being: as desire, as hope, as hopelessness, as closeness and distance, as an essential “energy drink” of triviality. The poem “Dreams and drops on the floor” through its incredible metonymy of alienation and the desire of belonging is one of the anthological poems of the collection. The desire for an echo, for a feedback voice and a response in a century where “running towards the material we forget about the souls / placed on the wire of life / hanging” is the human desire for humans. The honesty and the confessional tone of Stojcevska in the second cycle with a symbolical title “Offering” charms us with its simplicity, openness and belief in the word. We are witnesses of the erotic desire of the lyrical subject, (self)sacrifice of love, (self)distribution for others and mild humor and irony: “You are leaving… An old cliché… Stay, stay for a change!” Love as a line whose endpoints are those who love each other, will fulfill when they are connected in order to become a single point. The (meta)physical dimension of the verse is hidden behind the confessional, urban dimension of mundaneness, typical of new poetry, not only within Macedonian but European frames too: the weight of love should be split “like bags filled with summer shopping”. The third poetic cycle titled referentially “Stories and fairytales”, and we distinguish the anthological poems “Profile of a dragon” and “Neverland”, the remarkable ars poetica of life, clearly defining poetry as a solitary salvation, unique redemption from the mistakes, but not the sins of life – writes the poetess Lidija Dimkovska.

For her latest, fourth, poetic collection, the professor Vladimir Martinovski writes: With this book, Snezana Stojcevska reaffirms and deepens her poetic endeavors from her previous books. The title It should be easy in a very effective way hints to her recognizable poetics, where Tagore’s motto is confirmed: with beautiful poems we have the feeling as if we wrote them ourselves, as well with one of the key theses of Italo Calvino from the noted “American lectures”. Namely, in the introductory poem of the collection, titled “I’ll never stop”, the lyrical subject says: The first lesson we’ve learned on the ballet classes is that / it suppose to seem light, / so light as it is heavy / it suppose to seem as if everyone can do it. By drawing lucid parallels between the ballet and poetic art, the poetess accentuates the personal unconditional contribution in the creative act: so no one can presume you are in pain / is it painful? / Not even when your toes bleed.

Deeply rooted in the inner meandering of feelings and experience, the lyricism of Stojcevska shatteringly precisely and (seemingly) simply underlines the paradoxes of the creative creature in this harsh time, where searching for freedom, she notes: Everything which makes me free, enslaves me. In the poem “The Ascension of Snezana”, the search for (creative and existential) freedom, at the same time means facing risks: I fly with my soul / knowing not where it will take me / nor where I will land. That bold facing with the unknown, uncertain, unpredictable in Snezana Stojcevska poems, gives them a peculiar charm, warmth and intimacy, and in the poem “Every night I send my soul flying”, the soul symbolize the strong urge of discovering the unknown: My soul is quick / my body cannot catch up to it. / Craving life, wants to see everything / be everywhere. It seems as if the act of writing itself through this view is experienced and lived as an openness to life and to potential “meetings” with the poems, as in the impressive verse: You never know where you will be met by a poem.

Namely, this latest poetic work by Stojcevska is a strong testament that she is able to directly and unforcedly “meet” and immortalize the poetically worthy moments, such as, the deeply profound ecstatic knowledge that The world is beautiful. / Beautiful are we too in it, written at the Slovenian capital. The worth of her poetry, among other things, lies in the humane and direct praise and celebration of the moments which make life worth living: meeting with close ones and loved ones, ancestors and offspring, with friends and lovers, but also in meetings with one’s own profound depths.