Poetry. Translated by Andrea Jurjević. This collection by poet, novelist and dramatist Olja Savičević, one of Croatia's most important contemporary voices, is the first of her books of poetry to be translated into English, following the critical acclaim for her novel, Adios Cowboy (Adio kauboju). MAMASAFARI is a woman's expedition into contemporary Mediterranean culture, a collection of prose poems that meditates with vivid imagery and narrative on family, identity and the politics of the Balkans. "Mamasafari," the second section of the book, continues in the vein of observation and political commentary (particularly the problematic history of the poet's native Balkans), yet this time in a more lyrical manner, and this time with the poet's eye lovingly scrutinizing and exploring family life. The speaker braids the experiences of being a mother, a lover, and a child, at times playing the three roles at once. This is a journey into what it means to be a woman. The third section, "Soundtrack for Blind Passengers," contains more poeticized and metaphorically-complex work. These poems are thematically varied, and they solidify a sense that MAMASAFARI represents an expedition, as seen from female experience—first an expedition abroad, then among the speaker's identities, and finally to some truly distant, fictional destinations.
Olja Savičević is a poet and novelist from Split, Croatia. Her first poetry collection, It Will Be Tremendous When I Grow Up, was published in 1988, when she was fourteen. Since then she has published five other books of poems: Eternal Kids (1993); Female Manuscripts (1999); Puzzlerojc (2005); House Rules (2007), winner of the prestigious Croatian award Kiklop; and MAMASAFARI (2012, 2018). She is also the author of a short story collection To Make a Dog Laugh (2006), which won a Croatian prize for the best fiction writer under thirty-five, as well as two novels, Adios, Cowboy (2010) and Night Singer (2016). Both of her novels were awarded the best Croatian novel by the periodical T-portal, while Night Singer also won the Croatian Libar za Vajk (Forever Book) award. Two of Savičević's short stories have been adapted into short films, while her novel Adios, Cowboy, was adapted for stage. Her work has been included in a number of Croatian and international anthologies, including Best European Fiction 2014 (Dalkey Archive) and Surfacing: Contemporary Croatian Poetry (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), and it has been translated into more than 20 languages. MAMASAFARI is the first book-length collection of her poetry in English.Author City: Split CRO
Andrea Jurjević grew up in Rijeka, Croatia, in the former Yugoslavia, before immigrating to the United States. Her debut poetry collection, Small Crimes, won the 2015 Philip Levine Poetry Prize, and her book-length translations from Croatian include MAMASAFARI (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2018). Her work appears in TriQuarterly, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, and many others. She was the recipient of a Robinson Jeffers Tor Prize and the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award.Author City: CRO