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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

IGOR ISAKOVSKI HAS DIED

Igor Isakovski, one of the leading Macedonian poets of the 21st century
Sad news, the energetic poet, novelist, publisher, editor, book designer, translator and friend to many poets globally, Igor Isakovski, has died suddenly of a heart attack, the other day. I include a poem from his recent collection below (translated into English), a photo of the poet, and a recent biographic note.  He had translated my work, and published it in Macedonian.
 
IGOR ISAKOVSKI. Born 19.09.1970, in Skopje, Macedonia. Died 15.12.2014, in Skopje, Macedonia. He took a BA in World and Comparative Literature, Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia. MA in Gender and Culture, CEU, Budapest, Hungary. He was completing doctoral studies at the Sts. Cyril and Methodius University. He was founder and director of the Cultural Institution Blesok where he worked as editor-in-chief since 1998.

Published books: Letters (1991, novel), Black Sun (1992, poetry), Explosions, Pregnant Moon, Eruptions... (1993, short stories), Vulcan – Earth – (1995, poetry), – Sky (1996, 2000, poetry), Engravings, Blues Phone Booth (2001, prose etchings), Sandglass (2002, short stories), Way Down in the Hole (poetry, 2004), Swimming in the Dust (2005, 2010, novel, award Prose Masters 2005), Blues Phone Booth II (2006, prose etchings, awarded 2007 annual prize for best visual-graphic design of a printed book), Interning for a Saint (poetry, 2008), The Night Is Darkest Before the Dawn (poetry, 2009, unique award winner of the 4th Belgrade Poetry and Book Festival in 2010), Vulcan – Earth – Sky (poetry, 2010), Love (poetry, 2011), Death Has Seaweed Hair(poetry, 2013).

Selections and translations in other languages: – Sky (poetry in English, 1996, 2000), Sejanje smeha (Sowing of Laughter, selected poetry in Serbian and Macedonian, 2003), I & Tom Waits(selected poetry in English and Macedonian, 2003), Sandglass (short stories in English, 2003), I to je život (That's Life Too, new and selected poetry, published in Montenegro, 2007), Iz bliskov in ognja (From Glitters and Fire, new and selected poetry in Slovenian, 2011), Pjesčani sat(Sandglass, short stories in Croatian, 2012), Dlanovi puni srče / Дланки полни срча (new and selected poetry in Serbian and Macedonian, 2013), Светлината ве чека на рецепција / The Light Awaits You at Reception (selected and new poetry in Macedonian and English, 2013).

Isakovski edited four anthologies (the latest is the bilingual Six Macedonian Poets, published by Arc publications, UK, 2011) and two CD-ROMs. He translated poetry, prose, and essays, from and into Macedonian, English, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, and from Slovenian into Macedonian. Into his Macedonian translations, there are more than 60 published books.

His poetry and prose works have been translated into sixteen languages and published in about twenty countries. He was included in a vast number of selections and anthologies in Macedonia and abroad. 

 
 
Lights around Paths

   I clean the stains off the table,
   I wipe out prints of liquids,
   ash and gunpowder – I need to set off
   somewhere. I wipe with keen
   precision, I clean up traces.

   I’ll step into the snow, I’ll make new
   paths – wide and merry, like lights
   sparkling around the planet, playful
   like my restless steps: I need to set off.

   I clean and tidy up, like in the past when I was
   expecting guests – I know that I’m alone, I know
   no one will come: let it be neat and warm.

   I’ll set off with my nose in the air, like a hound, searching for
   more gunpowder. If it comes to that, I’ll face the gun.

   I clean and tidy up, as if saying farewell to the world.

 
poem by Igor Isakovski.
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