Marko Pogačar (Split, 1984) is a student of comparative literature and history at the University of Zagreb. He works as an editor for Zarez, a bi-weekly cultural magazine, and is a member of the editorial board of the literary magazine, Quorum. His poetry has been translated into several languages and he has taken part in several international poetry festivals (Slovenia, Italy and Venezuela). In his spare time he plays the drums for a post-punk band called Death Disco.
Pogačar has spontaneously discovered a poetry of everyday life in a colourful and sparkling mass of quotations and paraphrases that come welling up from the inexhaustible, permanently vibrant and stimulating cultural production whose longest branches reach all the way to the West Coast and Hollywood. In his poetry, fear, for example as “black death under the tongue”, is not a psychological definition of certain mental states and an existential categor. Far from it: it is something material, deeper and biological. In Pogačar’s case, fear is described and occasionally denoted as a dark, misty and unique sensation, as an elementary force impossible to control, which penetrates all artificial frameworks. Thus swearwords, “anti-government” songs, “commies”, and the desire to “sometimes break someone’s ass” in his poems represent a firm and, for the young generation, desirable, resistance to lyricism in an emotionally undesirable i.e. traditional sense.
The flipside of this tradition can be recognized in the use of free verse, as well as in the basic intonation of this intimate poetry, which in general takes place within a private relationship between I (he) and you (she). The need to tear the texture of poetry in order to find a new place in which to speak about experiences may be common to all of his generation, yet it is recognizable only when individualized, in Pogačar’s case — marked with a cultivated ear for what is politically and culturally tolerable or intolerable. The fact that the voice in his poetry needs to position and determine itself against the social and cultural framework as it was in Croatia in the 1990s, tells us something about the real contours of this reality, which now, in a new way, asks that anxious question of whether real change is actually possible for the new generation.
Pijavice nad Santa Cruzom, AGM, Zagreb, 2006
Poslanice običnim ljudima, Algoritam, Zagreb, 2007
Quirinus Annual Award for the best poetry debut, 2006