The poet and essayist Miroslav Mićanović, born in Brčko, Croatia, graduated in Southern Slavic literature and languages at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. His poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various anthologies, collections and reviews and have been translated into several languages.
Mićanović started to publish his poems in the 1980s with the postmodern credo of "world as text" and a belief that in writings, poems, and essays, world and personal experience come into existence. From that perspective, life and death, individual and local histories coexist in such a way that they reveal a real event and run parallel to those events at the same time. The porous and unstable line that separates "world" and "text" became almost invisible as the poet went deeper into his own world, his memories and reminiscences of his early days, and subsequently brought into view a reflection of a different world, a world that is familiar yet strange.
In his later poems the centre of that world is his hometown Gunja, a small provincial town in the Slavonia region in eastern Croatia, as it was in 1970s: a "desolate plain with dusty villages and smell of worker's sweat". He is aware that underneath silence and calm, unspoken words and emotions simmer and wait to erupt. And he knows that his job as a poet, his only job, is to speak and describe, to create and preserve, because in absence of his effort words will sink like stones and stay mute forever.
He has to speak in order to recognize himself and the world around him, to present what happened and what remains hidden, and his words will give resonance and force to the moments of silence. All the time the visible and invisible enter, actual and imaginary collide, in his voice and his verses. We can see an event and its shadow, and hear sounds and words that circle around it, but in the end what we can't tell is whether that was his voice or just an echo of a forgotten past.
With Branko Čegec, Mićanović compiled a panorama of Croatian poetry from the 1980s and 1990s, Strast razlike, tamni zvuk praznine (1995), and an anthology of contemporary Croatian poetry, Utjeha kaosa (2006), which was translated into English and Hungarian. He has broadcasted and published his poetry, prose, and criticism on the radio as well as in daily newspapers and literary magazines. He participates in Croatian and European literary festivals and leads poetry and short story workshops. For many years, Mićanović has been the editor of the literary magazine Quorum and publications with Naklada MD, based in Zagreb. He works at the Croatian Education and Teacher Training Agency, and lives in Zagreb with his family.
Books of poetry in Croatian:
Grad dobrih ljudi (The city of good people), CDD, Zagreb, 1984
Zid i fotografije kraja (The wall and photos of the end), ICR, Rijeka, 1989
More i prašina (Sea and dust), poetry and graphic, with V. Zelenko, Zbirka Biškupić, Zagreb, 1991
Zib, Meandar, Zagreb, 1998; 2001
Dani (Days), poetry and prose, Edicija Meandar, Zagreb, 2011
Jedini posao – vizije, fantazije, utopije (The only job – visions, fantasies, utopias), Meandar Media, Zagreb, 2013
In Croatian and French:
Nitko ne govori hrvatski / Personne ne parle croate (Nobody speaks Croatian), with B. Čegec and I. Prtenjača, Meandar, Zagreb, 2002; 2003
Tisoč majhnih sonc na razbitem steklu (Thousands small suns on broken glass), selected poems, KUD Apokalipsa, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011
Books of prose in Croatian:
Četiri dimenzije sumnje (Four dimensions of doubt), with J. Matanović and V. Bogišić and K. Bagić, literary criticism, CDD, Zagreb, 1988
Trajekt (Ferry boat), short stories, Meandar, Zagreb, 2004
Tri krokodila (Three crocodiles), with B. Čegec and S. Karuza, short stories, Meandar, Zagreb, 2005
Zapadni kolodvor (Western Station), essays, Meandar, Zagreb, 2006
Jednosmjerna ulica (One-way street), essays, Meandar, Zagreb, 2010
Vrt s 1001 žaruljom, (Garden with a 1001 light bulbs), short stories, Meandar, Zagreb, 2012
Prom (Ferry boat), Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Katowice, 2011
Divji pes (Wild dog), selected esseys, Študentska založba, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011
Strast razlike, tamni zvuk praznine, (The passion of difference, the dark sound of void), special issue of the literary magazine Quorum, Zagreb, 1995
Utjeha kaosa (The comfort of chaos), Zagrebačka slavistička škola, Zagreb, 2006
Links in Croatian
Interview on the Pisci na mreži
Poems and prose in sailing magazine Morsko Prase
Utjeha kaosa anthology
Links in English
Poems in English and German on Lyrikline
An article in the Guardian on Mićanović’s hometown of Brčko