Following on from my recent visit to Banja Luka, I am really excited to announce that the new Bosnian translation of Coleshill – Kolshil! – is hot off the presses. And I mean that literally, as you can see from these pics of my wonderful publisher Zdravko Kecman.
Zdravko is one of the region’s most important writers and publishers – last year he was awarded Slovenia’s Pretnar Life Achievement Award for his lifetimes work, and for actively promoting Slovenian-Serbian-Bosnian-Herzegovinian literary relations. It has been an honour to work with him, and with my translator Minja Golubovic. Both are consummate professionals and gifted artists, and both share the region’s endlessly inspiring attitude to poetry, and literature in general.
As readers familiar with my work will be aware, the Balkans have been a literary touchstone for me for a great many years – the writers and artists across the region, whatever their aesthetic principles, share a dedication to producing work of the highest artistic standard, and also share a collegiate attitude to making art. Perhaps this is forged in an environment where art is seen as absolutely necessary, so all practitioners share an urgency and a level of professionalism that is often missing elsewhere. As Zdravko himself says, “The song will never disappear from us”.
Whatever the reasons, it truly is an honour to be part of the literary life of the region, and I encourage all writers to actively engage with regions that fall outside the mainstream of Anglophone literature. The rewards are terrific.