I had the enormous privilege of interviewing poet Jamie McKendrick for Off Assignment about his years-long project translating Italian Jewish writer Giorgio Bassani’s fiction — six individual volumes are collected in The Novel of Ferrara, forthcoming in October from Penguin Classics (UK) and W.W. Norton (US). I learned a great deal as a human, a reader, and a writer by engaging with Bassani’s work and corresponding with McKendrick.
We (Sarajevo Writers' Workshop) are so very honored to be featured in this gorgeous spread by Tamara Zablocka in the March issue of URBAN Magazin. See the photos above to review the print version; the link to the online version is here. I did an interview for the piece, discussing our history as well as our collaborations with Atlanta's Narrative Collective (The Borders Project, published in EuropeNow Journal) and with our dear colleagues in Caracas, Venezuela (Narrative Witness, via the University of Iowa's International Writing Program). Our Mirza Purić translated the interview.
The article (print) includes images by Sarajevo photographers with whom we've collaborated (Nerma Sofić, Vanja Čerimagić, Merisa Basić) and texts by some of us (poetry by Selma Asotić and Zerina Zahirović, prose by Dijala Hasanbegović). URBAN's online version of Dijala's story is at a separate link here.
With special thanks to The Goat Farm Arts Center -- where Narrative Collective is in residence and for which I am writer-at-large -- for hosting our Borders Project reading and to poet Ferida Duraković for being such a supportive friend over these years. You'll find in the URBAN article a quote from a piece by Fedosy Santaella of Caracas -- his essay "Trees of Sarajevo." In Mariela Matos Smith's English translation, the opening reads, "Sarajevo is so far from us. I will never go there, it is so far away. Maybe I should get myself a map and fold it in order to bring Caracas closer to Sarajevo. A poem by Montejo dreams of Iceland. I have taken to dreaming of Sarajevo." Moving words.
The Borders Project is a literary collaboration between the Sarajevo Writers' Workshop and Atlanta's Narrative Collective, two groups to which I belong. The journal EuropeNow ran a six-issue feature in 2017 of the work we produced. Each installment of the project also includes the work of Bosnian photographers who responded to our texts with images.
My introduction to the project can be read here.
Below find a complete list of Borders poetry and prose -- in English and in Mirza Purić's English translation.
The image responses appear below the texts. Participating photographers are Vanja Čerimagić, Nerma Sofić, Merisa Basić, Dario Kristić, Sanja Vrzić, and Kenan Muslić.
You'll Be Me, a short story by Neđla Ćemanović
Anorexic Safety of Public Transport, a poem by Nermana Česko, translated by Mirza Purić
Yankee Messiah, an essay by Suzanne Mozes
Of Card Games and Kisses, a short story by Daniela Valenta
Once Upon a Time in Ikea, an essay by Kate Tuttle
Registration, a short story by Naida Avdović, translated by Mirza Purić
Paper Cuts, a short story by Matea Šimić, translated by Mirza Purić
Invisible Bumps, an essay by Rachael Maddux
Frontierspeople, a poem by Dijala Hasanbegović, translated by Mirza Purić
Three Quarters of the Way Through the Poem, a poem by Melanie Jordan
Prague-Berlin Train, a short story by Stacy Mattingly
The Nation, a poem by Selma Asotić
Two Poems by Esther Lee
Hladno, an essay by Marina Alagić-Bowder
Tangle, a short story by Kulović Selma, translated by Mirza Purić
Alva Goes to the Neuro-Ophthalmologist, a poem by L.S. McKee
January, a poem by Zerina Zahirović, translated by Mirza Purić