Gorjan Kostovski (b. 1988, Struga, Macedonia). Freelance translator, editor, court-sworn translator, and professor of English Language. Graduated English Language and Philology at the Faculty of Philology “Blaže Koneski” – Skopje, Macedonia. Recipient of a science scholarship in 2018 from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia, graduated with honors at the University of Bristol, England (MSc Management and Marketing) in 2019. He has translated numerous collections of poems, essays, speeches and other works from over 70 national and international poets for the publications of the “Struga Poetry Evenings”, as well as other publishing houses. Writes, creates and edits media content for several webpages.
List of translated books of poetry and prose from English to Macedonian and vice versa:
- Selected Poems – Ivana Jovanovska. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings/VERSOPOLIS, 2022;
- The Call of the Wild – Jack London. Publisher: Aldebaran, 2022;
- Selected Poems – Greta Ambrazaitė. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings/VERSOPOLIS, 2021;
- Selected Poems – Karen McCarthy Woolf. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings/VERSOPOLIS, 2020;
- Selected Poems – Kim Moore. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings/VERSOPOLIS, 2017;
- Selected Poems – Tom Van de Voorde. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings/VERSOPOLIS, 2015.
- Lift – Harry Man (UNESCO “Bridges of Struga” Award). Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings, 2014;
- I Remember – Risto Jachev. Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings, 2014;
- Celtic Twilight – William Butler Yeats. Publisher: Begemot, 2014;
- The Entrance is on the Other Side – Nikolina Andova-Shopova (UNESCO “Bridges of Struga” Award). Publisher: Struga Poetry Evenings, 2013;
- Arrowsmith – Sinclair Lewis. Publisher: Kongresen Servisen Centar/Polica, 2013;
- Field. Battlefield? – Slave Gjorgjo Dimoski. Publisher: Kongresen Servisen Centar/Polica, 2011.
Translated by Gorjan Kostovski
LAST NIGHT I DREAMT OF WAR / СНОШТИ СОНИВ ВОЈНА
Last night I dreamt of war
giving birth to an apocalypse in pieces.
When I dream of war
I rearrange my basement into a shelter.
Today I left three embroidered peppers down there 
and to the wooden chest,
in a new letter which I slipped inside it,
told it that it is safe and sound.
I checked whether the old mattress
had been eaten by rats,
and to the existing supplies
I added a new supply of fear.
I dream of war almost always
and on a calendar, I cross off
one day after the other.
In the meantime,
I drink more,
I eat zestfully,
I breathe more than what is recommended.
I also keep quiet,
as much as I am permitted.
 Embroidered pepper is a unique type of Macedonian pepper with very specific fruit appearance, taste and use. The name is derived from their intricately scarred skin that appears to be threaded. (TN)
WELTSCHMERZ / СВЕТСКАТА БОЛКА
We sit upon pillars in godless solitude.
We watch as false crises and promises
rob the deserts of their peace
Far from our sight
lie threequarters of the new moment.
We will not experience them because of Weltschmerz.
ON THE SLEEVE OF THE CITY / НА РАКАВОТ НА ГРАДОТ
Peer into yourself.
The gaps in your body await your return.
The storms subside so you may calm yourself.
The spring flowers open so you may rouse yourself.
The lindens down the street bloom so you may free yourself.
In a symphony, the new raindrops await your fatigue.
Peer into yourself.
The pangs of the body dream of you being born
as the first free person of the city.
As the first one who became aware of personal places.
THE NAME OF THE DAY / ИМЕТО НА ДЕНОТ
Again, the day has been christened with the same name.
Again, the day was born and died
to mark this home
where you are never alone.
Among ancient ruins,
a safe haven from troubles.
Here, herbs bloom
that stir the scents in your head.
Here you become human and reconcile yourself to wrinkles.
Your steps are shorter and you breathe calmly.
Here the stars come to you for a summer fling.
We will always call the day by the same name,
so that what home means to us may never die.
THE FIRST HOME / ПРВИОТ ДОМ
This home is full of shadows unwilling to leave.
It has red windows
broken by the last cheap hearts,
white walls with remnants of vulnerable dreams,
gray thresholds bearing weight upon invisible shoulders,
yellowed newspapers with adverts for flats at exorbitant prices.
It has brown rakija glasses with chipped ends, 
green vases for hope filled with fatigued flowers,
blue broken faucets where the truth flows,
and black seeds in flowerpots
that have given up before even taking root.
It has rose-tinted mirrors ashamed of themselves
and orange carpets to welcome you,
shy since birth.
Today, all the colors of the world selfishly belong to this home,
the first home.
 The collective term for fruit spirits (or fruit brandy) popular in the Balkans. (TN)
HUMAN / ЧОВЕК
I’ll leave all the doors wide open.
I’ll remain calm, curious, small and silly.
I won’t kneel before the king in my head.
I am not a servant,
I won’t fall under this blue sky.
I’ll read, I’ll learn, I’ll sail,
but I won’t crumble under this heavy armor.
Deliberately, I lay on thorns
from whose sting I chose to grow up.
SPRING / ПРОЛЕТ
Spring shall come
when we forgive the aches
of the Mother we tread upon,
when we bow down
to the children of concrete.
When we draw breath
the angered directions of the world.
Spring shall only come when we borrow
the Sun from the Middle East.
SOUTH / ЈУГ
There is something wrong in waiting for the migratory birds
draped in last year’s restlessness.
Beyond the unknown world,
memories surface with a handful of deceits pasted to their bodies.
The more self-sufficient we are,
the less we understand the South.
WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER MOURNS MY GRANDFATHER / КОГА БАБА МИ ГО ОПЛАКУВА ДЕДО МИ
When my grandmother mourns my grandfather,
a severe storm comes from the north
and a heavy hail hits the tiny roof tiles.
It pounds and pummels with fury until its back begins to ache.
It retreats, defeated.
Life in the streets remains mute.
Only then do we understand how much the end hurts.
Voicelessly, we continue to love,
STARS / ЅВЕЗДИ
Up until the final step, we are together.
Our bills due, drowsy and delirious
we pick pajamas for our next nap.
At every corner of the city
we draw breath under а shared sky.
The stars watching over us are alike everywhere.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN / НА ДРУГАТА СТРАНА НА ГРАДОТ
On the other side of town
I talk to you quietly so as not to wake you.
On this side of town, I fall asleep restlessly,
for I am clumsy and wild when things change.
In honor of our first apartment,
I bought you a poetry booklet,
so you may read aloud to me about gardens
filled with giddy feelings.
So that I may transform from a sparrow
into a mighty bird of love.
On the new side of town,
I speak softly to you at night,
so you may never learn how far my longing may be heard
while you sleep.
PERSONAL ABYSS / СОПСТВЕНА БЕЗДНА
I melted, and was born anew.
Frightened of missing something
I put on two different shoes,
and all around me seemed in order.
for a few days now,
I wish for open galleries
between your world and mine;
I wish to tell you stories
although I don’t know any;
I wish to know how to quickly escape
from my personal abyss.
For a few days now,
I hear ever louder that personal renewal is in crisis.
It has become an expendable reserve.
PAIR OF COMPASSES / ШЕСТАРИ
A pair of compasses above our heads
draws circular destinies,
while the final pleas
echo in the streets, again and again.
The city of garbage and gloom adopts its last children.
Homeless we are, trapped in dead spaces.
Homeless, more than dead witnesses.
At an auction, the final supplies of peace are spent.
Before the arrival of the ultimate storm
of masses fed on hurt and hatred,
we read about the great calm before the storm.
VALLEY OF PAIN / КОТЛИНА НА БОЛКИТЕ
In this valley of ours
only withered pain thrives.
There is no lifegiving water.
We occasionally hear about
the lifegiving hope
on TV screens.
The sleeves of this city lie hidden under fatigued hills.
There, only the dreams of children
dare disturb the clouds.
ANTHEMS / ХИМНИ
Packing our suitcases,
we are writing our last letters to you.
Grasping stones in our hands,
with faded smiles we stay silent to the bitter riddles
of the coming day and quietly
we collect all your last embraces.
We are emptying our rooms to the sound of “Delfina”. 
We compose anthems from the resounding steps
as we abandon our places.
 A famous song by Slave Dimitrov, a Macedonian singer, composer and record producer. The song was used as part of the soundtrack for the movie “Stand up straight, Delfina”. (TN)
FEELING / ЧУВСТВО
Here is where my words depart.
Here is where I am a temple, a woman.
Labyrinth in which I lose and find myself.
Here is where I depart alone.
I walk fearlessly and curiously,
I sway in the wind like a cradle,
so the burden may caress me gently
and make the apples inside me ripen.
Thoughts bow to me
and my trusty breath does its thing.
Here is where I expend and bestow myself
and press my lips together for new kisses.
Here, where a peaceful dream comes.
Here, where the day sets
and the lights within me adorn the usurped night.
Here is where everything begins.
Everything that I’ll ever write, so that I may carry it with me.