Why Do We Need This Book?
The period spanning from the end of the 20th century to the time that we are living now has seen the debuts of not an insignificant number of (re)creators of verse, some of whom have already proven themselves to be more than mere “passers-by” through the Macedonian literary realm. They have shown that they are poets of authentic voices and styles with something to say, authors who in a time that many consider unpoetical know how to and succeed in leading a poetical life with a different poetical view of the world, within and outside themselves, that allows them to interpret it in all its different dimensions. At the same time, during these two decades of the new century there have been not a small number of poets whо have written and/or published the part of their oeuvre that marked the ascension to their personal poetical zenith and/or proving that they have contributed to the upward development of contemporary Macedonian poetry, following their debuts at the turn of the last century. We need this book because it represents a first (serious) attempt to gather in one place all the different individual authentic poetic voices of all this (re)creators of verse. However, this book has no pretense of trying to collect all these voice and put them in a veritable “chorus”, primarily because the editor himself was certainly aware that such a “chorus” could not be harmonious in a poetic sense. This book, in fact, tries to provide ample space to showcase the creative/poetic specificity of each of the represented authors, while at the same time serving as an as an umbrella edition giving us an (excellent) opportunity to have a more complete and clearer picture of the various poetics and esthetics employed by the new poetic voices in our literature.
Even though it is not an anthology, Voices of the New Century provides us with a veritable panoramic overview of the (creation of the) poets of the new century, but also incorporates a critical and value assessment dimension to it. Specifically, despite the fact that the published poems have been selected by the poets themselves, still the critical/value “filter” is present through the choice of the poets whose verses have found their place on the pages of this book. If one compares this collection with other anthologies/panoramic selections of poetry representing individual (re)creators of verses born in the 1960’s and 1970’s, as well as authors born in the penultimate decade of the previous century, it can be concluded that only a small portion of them are represented. Predominantly featuring in the pages that follow this text are poets born in the second half of the 1970’s, as well in the 1980’s and 1990’s, all the authors that have not failed the challenge to live for and with poetry, whose published works have proven to us that writing poetry is not just a game for them and that the esthetic is a dominant feature of their poetic style. Still, Voices of the New Century also features authors who have not been mentioned in those “generational” poetry collections, due to the fact that they have made their literary debuts at a later period or because the quality of the poetry they (have) created (unintentionally or intentionally) had been recognized/”acknowledged” belatedly, even though their poetic voices have already resounded loudly in translations in various world languages.
At the same time, the pages of this book also contain poems by authors born even before the second half of the 1960’s. These poets have achieved their most serious (thus far) creative pinnacles in the almost two decades behind us, yet truth be told their work has not garnered much critical attention (though when re/reading their published works, it is obvious they are deserving of that) and/or it has not been adequately valued by our literary world. With regards to the youngest authors represented here, those born in the last decade of the 20th century, it is quite clear that they have been rigorously selected – only those poets with a strong personal poetic expression are selected, authors who have shown that poetry is not just expression of a youthful exuberance.