In her poetry Irena Matijašević interweaves a mythological and bookish world with a harsh daily routine. It’s not difficult to trace the outlines of her bookish world, but a “hard daily routine”, as one critic deemed it, actually refers to constant search for her voice and her identity in poetry. “I’m sure that my sex, the fact that I’m a woman, affects my writing and my poetry because my identity was determined by it”, said Matijašević in an interview.
In her poems a woman’s voice can be heard as an ‘echo in the chamber’, cluttered with pictures and sounds that presumably comes from the opposite sex. At the end it is her search that prevails, her strong desire to leave her mark in an uncertain world. “I feel life coming closer when all I want is to die”, wrote Marilyn Monroe in her notebook, and it is no coincidence that she is one of personas Matijašević utilises, an echo of a voice among many voices we can hear in the poems presented on this page.
Born in Zagreb, Matijašević graduated with a degree in English and comparative literature from Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She served as a member of the Croatian Semiotic Society’s board of directors and currently works as an editor at Croatian Radio, where she edits programs on poetry and literature, as well as the human sciences.
Her publications include essays, published in literary magazines and newspapers, as well as three books of poetry: Naizgled (Seemingly, AGM, 2007), Južne životinje (Southern Animals, AGM, 2010) and Danska H2O (Denmark H2O, AGM, 2012). Her poems have been translated into German, English, Slovakian, Swedish and Polish. Presently she is writing a novel, Crno pismo (Black Letter), to be published by Algoritam in 2014.
Naizgled (Seemingly), AGM, Zagreb, 2007
Južne životinje (Southern Animals), AGM, Zagreb, 2010
Danska H2O (Denmark H2O), AGM, Zagreb, 2012
Interviews in Croatian:
A discission of the poetry book Naizgled (Seemingly)
On the collection Danska H2O (Denmark H2O)
About Matijašević’s forthcoming novel Crno pismo (Black Letter)