Nikolina Andova

- North Macedonia -

Nikolina Andova was born on 3 feb. 1978 in Skopje. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology (Macedonian and South Slavic literature) at the St Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. She writes poetry and her haiku takes part in the anthology of the new wave of Macedonian haiku. She has published two books of poetry "The entrance is on the other side" (2013) and "Connect the dots" (2014).

Her first book "The entrance is on the other side" was awarded with the prestigious award "Bridges of Struga" in 2013, award of UNESCO and the Struga Poetry Evenings for best debutante book.


The book impresses with its particularly interesting poetic statements and attracts the reader’s attention with its peculiarity and provocativeness, intertwined through subtle irony and parody present in almost every poem, with no exceptions. She actualizes the poetic subject, reveals its temperament and sensibility, thus bringing the poetic language to a full condition of new discoveries, meanings and values.


"This is poetry where the verses are more important than the one writing them. Here the lyrical ME shrinks down to disappearance and becomes nothing in everything. It becomes the last prayer of the monk, it becomes the emptiness of the pretzel. When inside of us, our silent Me, in that silence, the quietest hum in the world could be heard very clear. In that silence everything becomes holy and equally important. In that silence Nikolina Andova with equal, childlike easiness sings about life and death, which, though they know nothing of each other, wave from afar like the passengers on the deck of two ships when they meet on the open sea. There, in the silence, the moment equals eternity, and the tiny daily activities which often seem banal turn into wise zen-stories that tell us about the simplicity of existence. They face us with the paradoxical commonness of life about which the enlightened magi of the East talk.


Nikolina Andova brings about a world one would reach by diving deep in themselves, a world one would reach after long moments of silence, after the long cleansing of everything that is between the buttons, the numbers, the letters.  She knows what a cloudless sky means, and knows the birds that fly in it are not free, conditioned by their hunger, fear and migrations. Because she knows what freedom is. That’s why she sings about god and love unburdened by the dogmas written down in the holy books and creates her personal gods, with her own cosmogony. She creates a world where the entrance is on the other side, where death never returns to those who while living have slept with it.", as it is determined in Gjoko Zdraveski's review of the book "The entrance is on the other side".


Vladimir Jankovski in his essay "Binding of the worlds" about her second book "Connect the dots" (2014) is emphasizing: "Nikolina Andova is a poetess who thinks that everything which happens around us carries within itself a certain charge which can be transformed into poetry. She belongs to a group of artists who believe art can discover its material everywhere. Art is and should be discovered in the ordinary and banal daily happenings. "From my body I throw out the daily trifles" it is said in the poem "Backwards". By processing those "daily trifles", Andova creates poetry almost completely composed of the "reflexive remnants of reality". It is poetry that comes dangerously close to recognizable objects or images. Of course, not in order to multiply them or to repeat their banality and ordinariness. Quite the opposite. Her orientation towards the recognizable aims to confirm the metaphysical character of that triviality. That is why even when the theme in her poetry are some images from collective memory, those images are there to transcend their banality through poetry. A simple voyage by bus or train, looking through things left in the pocket of a lover’s pants, photographs of a park bench, children playing, crumpled papers in one’s pocket… all these elements are an entry for the author, entry into the poetical. As if there exists some crack in the happenings around us which always can be used to enter into the world of new meaning."


Nikolina Andova is an author that manages to turn a large portion of her poetic obsessions into a kind of miniature essays of love, otherness, fluidity of the body… Skillfully combining the metaphysical with the reflexive, the banal with the poetic, she creates metaphorical perceptions of the world that surrounds her from ordinary images, thus once again confirming that poetry, even when it goes back to known phenomena, manages to move them out of their appearance and in that fashion, create them anew. She thinks that a poet must be careful, slow, cautious almost to a point of stillness and focused on the things which happen before their eyes, and that poetry is bringing higher order into the chaos of the world. That is the connecting of "the dots" of experience, memory, perception. By bringing them in relation to one another, organizing them, Andova creates poetry from rediscovered "harmonies" among things and sensory experiences.