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Meet a Bulgarian Poet: Emanuil Vidinski

May 5, 2014 by · No comments


Katerina Stoykova-Klemer interviewed poet Emanuil Vidinski for The Season of Delicate Hunger: Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry. Here is her translation of that conversation.

What would you like for the American readers to know about Bulgarian poetry?

That a person’s problems are universal, but have a local flavor; that the world is a collective place, which we inhabit together, and everywhere poetry is the language of intimacy.

What would you like for the American readers to know about you personally?

I seek poetry in music and music in poetry, and when I write, I do it because I cannot not do it.

Is there an American poet who has influenced you or has made a an impression on you? How do you interact with American poetry?

I like Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, some of Bukowski’s work, as well as Allen Ginsberg. A number of American prose writers have influenced my poetry – Cheever, Carver, Fitzgerald, Salinger.


doesn’t cry in public
doesn’t complain
doesn’t sulk at the table
doesn’t talk about herself
doesn’t faint and
doesn’t call 911
doesn’t go to a psychologist
doesn’t cut her veins
doesn’t dramatize herself
doesn’t stop working
doesn’t sink into alcohol
doesn’t give in to desperation
doesn’t fake happiness
doesn’t force laughter
doesn’t keep silent on purpose
doesn’t feel aggression
doesn’t feel pity
doesn’t give up smoking
doesn’t change herself
doesn’t take a vacation
doesn’t hitchhike
doesn’t bear an artificial loneliness
doesn’t surround herself with people
doesn’t start writing poems
doesn’t listen to music differently
doesn’t keep a diary
doesn’t stop reading
doesn’t cease making love
doesn’t lose pleasure
doesn’t give up enjoyment
doesn’t miss out on joy
doesn’t bar her laughter
doesn’t long to abscond
doesn’t run away
doesn’t speak of herself
doesn’t sulk at the table
doesn’t complain

just sometimes
feels an overwhelming desire
to disappear into her palms

-Emanuil Vidinski

What forms of cultural exchange between Bulgaria and the U.S. would you find interesting, practical and helpful?

Any kind of collaboration in the area of culture, a mutual visiting of authors; projects which can stimulate the translation of cultures.

What do you wish for the anthology and its readers?

I wish for the anthology to find its readers and to reach more people who find “their” poem in it.

More from our “Meet a Bulgarian Poet” series:

Kristin Dimitrova
Yordan Efftimov
Petja Heinrich

Emanuil Vidinski was born on June 27th, 1978 in Vidin. He holds a degree in Slavic and Germanic studies from St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia. He is the author of a short story collection, a novel and a poetry collection, Par Avion (2011). Emanuil is the creator and editor of the World Novels series for Altera Press. He was an editor in the Bulgarian department of Deutsche Welle radio in Germany from 2008 to 2012. He currently lives and works in Sofia.

Originally published here.

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