Ahmed Burić

- Bosnia and Herzegovina -

Ahmed Burić, born in 1967 in Sarajevo, is a poet, translator, literary critic, editor, screenplay writer and journalist. His works have been translated into English, French, Czech and Slovenian. He himself translates from Slovenian into Bosnian. 


List of publication:


Literary works

Hipertenzija (Planjax, Tešanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2017.)
Vrata raja (Goga, Novo Mesto, Slovenia 2015.)
Maternji jezik,  (Šahinpašić, Sarajevo, 2013.)   
Posljednje suze krvi i nafte, VBZ, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina 2010. 
Bog tranzicije, VBZ (Zagreb –Sarajevo, 2004.) 
(also performed on Radio BH 1, and the readings in Leipzig, Luxembourg, Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Podgorica, Skopje…) 

Essays & columns:
Između Ivana i Azize, (University press, Sarajevo, 2015.)

Short stories: 
Devet i po  (2016.) Planjax, Bosnia and herzegovina
Najvažnija partija Alexandera Witteka (2017.) (OKF, Montenegro) 

Tebi šega što se zovem Donald (2017., Buybook, Sarajevo) 
Also published as the radio play on BH radio 1   
Dramollet: Drama je u krizi (Fantom Slobode, 2005.) 


Common works:

Bibliothek Sarajevo (litterarische Vermessung einer Stadt), (Drava 2012.)
Sarajevo, an alternative guide (Co – author, 2014.) 


Zašto tone Venecija (anthology of modern Bosnian poetry, KBZ Preporod Zagreb, 2012.) 
Vrijeme izmiče (anthology of contemporary short stories, narration from Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Plima, Ulcinj, 2010.)
His works are published in literary magazines “Lica“ (Sarajevo), Godine Nove, Fantom slobode (Zagreb) Balcanis (Ljubljana). 
Editor of 2 books of Aleksandar Hemon – Hemonwood 1 & 2, the columns 
Editor of the book of short stories Veliki shopping by Ante Tomic
Editor of collected poems of Kemal Monteno Za sve moje ljubavi 


Translations (from Slovene to Bosnian)
Svinjske Nogice by Tadej Golob 
Kako sem otrokom razložil demokracijo (How I explained democracy to the kids, by Miro Cerar, Bybook, 2012
Umjesto koga ruža cvjeta (Vlado Kreslin, Šahinpašić, 2010.) 
Čefurji napolje, a novel by Goran Vojnović, VBZ, 2009
Dušan Čater short stories (Lica, Sarajevo)
Goli pijanist by Matjaž Zupančič, Center Andre Malraux Sarajevo. 
Oprosti poezijo by Esad Babačić, Obzor Međugorje1999.

The courage of poetry that transcends boundaries 


We can call it a wave, a new wave of Balkan literature (music is not excluded from that), but no longer the one from the 70s and 80s, a new wave of (old) Balkan authors in our country. We can call it that and believe it will last. Well, although launched from outside, therefore, European projects that encourage the mixing of culture, literature and their creators, that cross or break down borders. It is important that the Balkan Express is still running, and it is even more important to stop here. This time he unloaded an old friend, a Bosnian-Herzegovinian journalist, editor, musician and, above all, poet Ahmed Burić (1967). and his selection of poetry The Gates of Paradise. "I didn't know what were important things in life / I only know that all songs are tears of Snješko Bijelić." Although one of the main poems of the collection ends with a seemingly complete disillusionment of the meaning and mission of poetry, entrusted only to a handful of those who still believe in the good man, The Gates of Paradise are, however, written by the poet's sovereignty. is even confirmed and proven. The book is a selection from the author's three previous collections, compiled into a new solid "narrative" arc.


The introductory, programmatic autopoetological song opens the door wide to a poetic paradise, which he equates with hell right at the beginning, the last song with a gloomy look confirms this beginning: “Years pass / and there is less and less hope / that I will see Buenos Aires. / Let my homeland be / clean air. ”(This main idea in the collection is followed by the title illustration by Samira Kentrić, who turned the strings of the paradise harp into bars…) Between the covers we read intimate stories, aphoristic comments, lucid social diagnoses… Verses that gave birth persistent memory of "time receding." Burić's poetry is sharp, down-to-earth nostalgic, often sharply ironic and sarcastic in his painting of Atlantis - a tragically lost home, homeland and people connected with it, values, balance and the ideals of youth in general.


Ahmed Burić in accordance with his surname in which the bora blows, cunningly low verses, uncompromisingly comments and reflects the social event, the irrationality of the individual, his inverted nature… To finally understand, to explain his or his own tragedy (or vice versa). The poet does not travel through the lonely inner spaces of the individual - with which he does not necessarily give up giving up intimacy and lyricism - but creates poetry of epic imagination, intellectual momentum, perceptive mind, which deliberately provokes, irritates, touches. It could be said that the poet strikes back at the world with poetry (and that always means himself). It penetrates the soft tissue, ie the middle, with surgical precision, so that between the verses one can see how blood and pus come out. The song records the concrete experience of war, exile, exile, but also of returning to the shattered homeland and dealing with its decimated remnants. The distance allows the poet a broad, avian, almost global perspective, which does not alleviate pain, and does not diminish tragedy. Because the facts are relentless: "What is good for your poetry / is not good for you." In declarative engagement and social engagement, the poems gain the charge of a Kosovel. But not in the sense of current slogans, because the poet's apolitical nature is obvious: “I have never participated in the writing of national programs / neither programs for television / nor for computers. “The basis of the poems is the engagement of an intellectual and a socially active and sensitive individual, a poet who feels obliged to express his point of view. An attitude, born in the intimacy of love, friendship, experience, conversation, flashes.


This balance between the partiality of experience and the universality of the messages creates a rigid coordinate system, where the message of the poem is not left to chance. An example of such precision is the song U terc (in) ama, in which a comic conflict in the toilet, reminiscent of a scene from the comedy Police Academy, turns out to be a satirical commentary on American (foreign) politics, culture. The recognizability of Burić's poetry is in the combination of the rationality of tragic experience and disillusionment on the one hand, and on the other special uncompromisingness in being, and determination, although self-ironic: Thunder, or when the wind rocked the fence of the Empire State Building. 'In such an attitude one can feel that (stereotypical) Balkan spirit, which we are looking for in vain here on our chest. Such an almost sporty attitude towards the world merges quite frequent sports metaphors, certainly symbolic, when, for example, "the whole world dances in bloom" or the poet realizes: "Poetry is boxing with a high temperature. Or against her. ”Tragic, then, turns into bitterness, stomach acid, bruises before weeping or hopelessness, and there is anger, sarcasm, sarcasm, and, of course, unmistakable humor. The poet's strokes are measured accurately and uncompromisingly: "Nations like to show dances from petty-bourgeois schools / and secretly watch porn in the evenings." / I am convinced / I will be a river / that washes everything / And carries and flows / and stands / and everything is at the same time. Both powerful and crooked (but also right) like an arrow, which Telemach fired. Yes, I will be Rijeka, if you ask me. " The poetics of declaration, statement, idea, commitment in relation to social reality is inscribed in Burić's poetry, so the face of not only the submerged, but also the born and the future moment is drawn in detail in it. Globalization, transition, corporation, consumption, commercialization, and all forms of fascism and cowardice are well-known phenomena of Western and Eastern modernity, and their destructive existence can be accurately and personally revealed only by poetry. Burić's poetry, on the other hand, does so with a special, bitter sweetness.


The collection seems motivated and designed by the search for meaning in the absurdity of history and the present. "Today, when all / fewer words, / have meaning / as do people." in the words: "In these years / at almost regular intervals / poetry appears, / and almost regularly / is the remnant of an unexperienced childhood / abducted at an irregular pace / of changing generations." And after all that has happened, could love be a way / to make sure that this whole life, which we threw away in vain / was not in vain. ”Love as a theoretical counterpoint to death in practice sadly loses… Remains as an ideal, an amphora at the bottom of the sea again. "And I dreamed, how I once / kissed on Tromostovlje, and maybe then / I lost the train for my grandchildren / while grabbing her tongue / which is not my mother tongue / but it is the most delicious thing I have ever felt." Just as the book as a whole has an ingenious idea, so do the songs, each individually, in its distinct rhythm and melody, often with a refrain. Their sound uniform is anything but shy, and so there are as many as five translators in the translation, the songs are called performances, recitations, and in it, despite all the deaths, life vibrates, we could say ecstasy. Whoever is brave, let him cross the border.


Essay written by Diana Pungeršič .