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Invitation to the Premiere of “Въздухът Около Пеперудата / The Air Around The Butterfly”

November 29, 2009 by · No comments

Publishing House Fakel Express invites you to the premiere of the poetry book Въздухът Около Пеперудата / The Air Around The Butterfly
by Katerina Stoykova
4 December (Friday) at 6:00PM, Rakursi Art Galley, Han Krum Street 4a (behind the City Library), Sofia, Bulgaria


Katerina Stoykova was born on June 4th, 1971 in Bourgas, Bulgaria, where she graduated from the Electronics and Electrotechnics program at the Free University of Bourgas in 1995. During the same year, she immigrated to the U.S., where she has worked as an engineer at IBM and Lexmark. She holds an MFA in poetry from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Katerina is the founder and leader of poetry and prose groups in Lexington, Kentucky, where she currently resides. She serves as Deputy Editor in Chief of the English language edition of online magazine Public Republic and hosts Accents – a radio show for literature, art and culture. “The Air around the Butterfly” is her first book. It is bilingual, with each poem appearing side by side in both English and Bulgarian. Katerina’s return to poetry and reemergence in her homeland took place in 2007, with a chapbook-length feature, “A Space for a Name” published in volume 4 of Fakel magazine.

About Katerina Stoykova’s poetry

The change of the location from which a person observes himself and the world is also a change of the consciousness of the world and self. Bulgarian poetry, Bulgarian literature, Bulgarian consciousness need to take a look at themselves from a different place, from the viewpoint of pinecones fallen far away from the tree. Katerina Stoykova’s American poetry is also Bulgarian, not only because it is translated by its author into Bulgarian, but also because it introduces us to the artistic self-awareness of a new breed of Bulgarians. Katerina Stoykova’s “The Air around the Butterfly” is lapidary poetry, even ascetic, without excessive wordiness and stylization; poetry that intrinsically creates its own form, like an authentic confession peering into itself and into the world.

Prof. Svetlozar Igov

Katerina Stoykova’s poems possess the restrained implacability of life towards its own transience. She doesn’t sing, cry, dance around herself and for herself. She thinks with her feelings and makes us sensitive through her thoughts. Her works are sent from above; she is only the mad flute for their blowing into the white space around the Earth. She is capable of being silent, but her silence speaks and tells us everything necessary for us to feel like human beings for a few moments again.

Roumen Leonidov

Katerina Stoykova’s poetics combine the North American poetry tradition of narrative, unadorned writing with the warmer Bulgarian figures of lineage and family. An especially good example is the strong poem, “The First Time I Tried to Leave Home.” Here, we discover a very precise child’s voice, which pierces most poems in this book. This schooling and familiarity with different poetry traditions makes her writing interesting and different and makes it stand out from contemporary Bulgarian poetry. The minimalism, lapidary style and utter clarity of the writing are strong aspects of this book, which is truly moving.

Georgi Gospodinov

Katerina Stoykova’s poetry has the gift of dry, feverish, non-verbose precision. This is a rhetorically bare poetry of a person expecting the next blow.
“The Air around the Butterfly” (published by Fakel Express in Bulgarian and English, editor Georgi Borissov) introduces a life frozen with mourning, introduces a stupor, in which only the brain functions with mad clarity.
Pain… and all-encompassing mourning – actually everyone who has a sick loved one, knows how we constantly prepare ourselves for death, even through poems. How we live in the foreign country of death.
Katerina’s world is fearlessly open towards the truth: “I pilot the helicopter / carrying my organs. / I advertise at different destinations.”
And this is yet another proof that the most non-self-serving (young) Bulgarian poetry is written outside Bulgaria. In this case, the author, who lives in the U.S., has translated the poetry herself.

Marin Bodakov
“Culture,” 18 September, 2009 (in Bulgarian)


“The Air around the Butterfly” can be found in bookstores in Bulgaria and America, and also on

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