We need this book to serve as poignant reminder that there are authors that you’ll meet in the following pages that have developed and incorporated a R’N’R poetics in their works, something which was foreign for Macedonian literature until the turn of the century, yet it has been very influential in our new century and has left its mark (both on the poetic style and the themes and motives) in the poems of a significant number of the newer Macedonian (re)creators of verse. Furthermore, this book can also show us that there are poets whose style is known for its linguistic clarity and purity, while others based their poetic expression on linguistic games and playfulness – though this is sometimes frowned upon by literary critics – yet, this playfulness with language once again denounces the old claim that the presence of “aural” effects in poetry can categorize it as of “low esthetic” value. Finally, it is a testament to the simultaneous existence and presence of poets who were/are both modern, but at the same time are also subtly adherents to poetic models that are part of the literary canon… while other of their contemporaries seem to intentionally want to go against the canon that they are well versed in… and there are those that were/are forever torn (maybe even stuck) between the idea on “how one should write” based on their extensive literary and theoretical education which clashes with their internal poetic defiance (very often their poetry can be classified as “academic poetry”).
This does not exhaust all the reasons why we need this book. This would require dozens of pages just to list all the arguments, let alone to discuss and explain them. Still, do we need a better reason than the fact that its pages contain the high quality works of worthy authors from our 21st century? I think not. The Voices of the New Century is here to confirm to us that even though this (re)creators of verses may not be part of a common stylistic formation, they are still united around the fulcrum of esthetics and literary values. At the same time, it also shows us that from this poetic individualism, that some might deem too excessive, yet which is made possible by the “literary democracy” that we (think) we live in/with in our work, has also already produced new poetics and new poetic voices. They are far from mere echoes of other writers from our century, rather some of them could be seen as part of the canon of modern Macedonian poetry – poetics and voices that are the faces of the new poetical styles in our literature and who represent us before world poetry in general. Of course, this is not the case with the work of all the authors represented in this collection. Still, we should not expect that, because only a small portion is represented of poems written by authors who show hope of resoundingly expressing their creative “selves” in the future. However, this book showcases quite a large number of authors who have proven themselves to be the new dignifying lights of Macedonian poetry.
Last, but not least, we should not forget that we don’t need this book just for the present. We shall need it too after a few decades, so we can return to it in order to ascertain and “listen” whether any and which of this poetic voices marking the first decades of the 21st century are still heard… or whether they can still reach to us, like an echo from the past.
This is a book that we really need!
Read it – now… and again after a few decades!
Skopje, July 2018