Gjoko Zdraveski

- North Macedonia -

Gjoko Zdraveski was born in Skopje in 1985. He graduated from Blaže Koneski Faculty of Philology in Skopje. He works as a Macedonian language teacher at the Faculty of Philology in Niš, Serbia.

He writes poetry, short short stories and essays. Poetry books: Palindrome with Double N (Палиндром со две н, 2010) and House for Migratory Birds (Куќичка за птици-преселници, 2013). Gjoko Zdraveski has also published a poetry book titled Cake out of the Window (Tortu kroz prozor, 2010) in cooperation with several poets from Serbia and Macedonia. His poetry has been included in several anthologies of poetry by young authors and translated into Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Czech and English: Out of the Box (Van kutije, antologija nove poezije JU-prostora, 2009), The New Macedonian Haiku Wave (Нов македонски хаику-бран, 2011), The Wind is Bringing Nice Weather (Ветерот носи убаво време, антологија на најмладата македонска поезија и проза, 2012), The Lyrical Dodekameron (Лирски додекамерон, антологија на младата македонска поезија, 2012).

Gjoko Zdraveski graduated at BlažeKoneski Faculty of Philology in Skopje. He works as a Macedonian language teacher at the Faculty of Philology in Nish. He writes poetry, short prose and essays. He has published two books of poetry Palindrom so dve n (Palindrome with Double "N") (2010) and kukjichkazapticipreselnici (house for migratory birds) (2013). Together with several other poets from Serbia and Macedonia, he has published the book Tortukrozprozor (A Cake through the Window) (poetry, 2010). His verses are published in several anthologies of young poetry: Van kutije, antologijanovepoezije JU-prostora (Outside the Box, Anthology of New Poetry from the Yugoslavian Countries) (2009), Nov makedonski haiku-bran (A New Macedonian Haiku-Wave) (2011), Veterotnosiubavovreme, antologijananajmladatamakedoskapoezijaiproza (The Wind is Bringing Good Weather, an anthology of the youngest Macedonian poetry and prose) (2012), LirskiDodekameron, antologijanamladatamakedonskapoezija (Lyrical Dodekameron, an anthology of young Macedonian poetry) (2012). He has been translated into Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Czech, Spanish, French and English. For the last seven years he has regularly participated in the Struga Poetry Evenings Festival within Nights without Punctuation. He has also taken part in poetry festivals of the region, among which: Trgni se! Poezija! (Wake up! Poetry!)(Belgrade, 2013), Mlade rime (Young Rhymes) (Ljubljana, 2013), Lirikonfest (Lyriconfest) (Velenje, 2014). He works as a literature editor of the Reper (Benchmark) electronic magazine and he is part of the independent Budenteatar (Wakeful Theater).

It should be stated right away and assuredly that Palindrome with Double "N" is a beautiful collection of love poems, a kind of revival of the simple, and yet deep cohesion of love and poetry in Macedonian language, by one of the best representatives of the new generation of Macedonian literature and philology. The praise of love in the short collection of poems Palindrome with Double "N" is concentrated, tender-hearted, serene, simple, and yet wise, and in a way, it reminds of Koneski’s poetry.

In this age of cynicism, the ode of love in this collection of poems is one of the more beautiful reading texts of the new generation of poets to which Zdraveski belongs. Love per se is overabundant and excessive, but it belongs only to the calm, serene, prepared, complete, connected people, to those that love – Zdraveski’s poems are based on this paradox. The four cycles testify to the same belief: the morning at the beginning of this collection of poems and the morning at the end of it is not the same, but it is part of the same cosmology. Throughout this book of poems we recognize the echo of the fast world, world of enemies, of instant communication, text messages, microphones, web-cameras, messengers, but this world calms down in love, it is conquered through love.

Its intertextual games and puns are announced in the very title of this poetic manuscript: the best known onomastic palindrome (the name Ana) acquires one more "N", and therefore Andrey NikolaevichBolkonski (whose lyric texts appear between the cycles) dedicated the book to Anna Petrovna. Despite its allusive component, the consistency of the poetic manuscript is shaped through love, which is its thematic motif: all the poetic texts modulate the love moods and nuances, always placed within deeply personal, and yet, recognizable life situations.

The book house for migratory birds, the second book of poetry of this young poet, Gjoko Zdraveski, consists of poems and poetic recordings which bear within itself the angst of revenge toward space, angst of travelling, of the immigrant who, tired of bridging over borders, lost his will to travel, so he devoted himself to a quest for peace, similar to the flowing of the river to the sea, similar to the unification of the atman with the Brahman.

Throughout the poems of the young poet Gjoko Zdraveski we can see the restlessness of the quest, the fear of what he is going to find, the fear of the possibility of the quest. We can see the restlessness which emerges when someone is cramped in the veins of his own soul, and wants to find the way out, but the world is too impure and suffocating to enter it.

Gjoko Zdraveski’s poetry is characterized by certain charming avant-garde, which comes as a result of the open mind and refined sensibility of the young poet, equally prone to Luddism and sophistication. It characterizes itself and the poet as a recognizable literary existence within the new Macedonian poetry, especially the one written by young authors.