By Esad Babačić
Translated by Andrej Pleterski
In this, Esad Babačić’s first book of poetry to appear in English, we have a very different and surprising voice emerging from Slovenia. The closest parallel is the poetry, as much as the attitude, of Charles Bukowski. It’s the voice of the streets and it’s a demotic voice, purged of the sense of the “beautiful.” It could be described as jagged and rough, but done purposely to release poetry from well-worn traditional forms and style. His is a masterful voice, and one that should be heard and recognized outside of Slovenia, and here translated ingeniously by Andrej Pleterski.
Esad Babačić was born in 1965 in Ljubljana to a working-class migrant family. After completing his military service in Titograd, Babačić returned to Ljubljana and started studying Slovene language and literature, as well as Southern Slavic languages, at the Faculty of Arts. His poetry has been translated into many languages and has received several awards, notably the Velenjica-čaša nesmrtnosti (2014) award for 10 years of outstanding poetic work in the 21st Century.
Andrej Pleterski (b. 1979) is an award-winning literary translator from English, French, and Slovak, and of Slovenian poetry into English and Slovak. In addition to numerous contributions to literary journals and catalogs, he has published more than twenty book-length translations of poetry and prose and compiled four anthologies. He has run the Slovak literary translation workshop organized by the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities since 2011.