Nikola Madzirov  

(1973-) Macedonia

Nikola Madzirov (poet, essayist, and translator) was born into a family of Balkan War refugees in Macedonia, ex-Yugoslavia, in 1973. When he was 18, the collapse of Yugoslavia prompted a shift in his sense of identity. There is a clear line connecting the generation of the East European poets like Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Vasko Popa and Adam Zagajewski to Nikola Madzirov. However, Madzirov provides a new voice in 21st century European poetry and is one of the most outstanding poets of the post-Soviet generation. The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel has compared the quality of Madzirov’s poetry to Tomas Tranströmer’s. The Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun wrote: “Madzirov created loud silence. He brought back the space and peace to the power. There are times (now) when we long after exactly this kind of purity.” The Polish poet Adam Zagajewski describes how “Madzirov’s poems are like Expressionist paintings: filled with thick, energetic streaks they seem to emerge from the imagination and to return to it right away, like night animals caught in the headlights of a car.”

Madzirov’s work has been translated into 40 languages. He is author of several books including Relocated Stone (2007), which received the Hubert Burda European Award. He won the Miladinov Brothers Award at the Struga Poetry Evenings and was granted the International Writing Program (IWP) fellowship at the University of Iowa, the DAAD fellowship in Berlin, and the Marguerite Yourcenar fellowship in France. Madzirov is one of the coordinators at the international poetry network Lyrikline. He spends his life in temporary homes.