Lidija Dimkovska was born in Skopje in 1971. Apart from poetry she writes essays, works as a translator and edits the Macedonian literary internet magazine Blesok/Shine. Dimkovska studied general and comparative literature in Skopje and took a Ph.D. at the University of Bucharest, where she taught Macedonian language and literature. She now lives in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
Dimkovska’s poetry collections include The Offspring from the East (1992), The Fire of Letters (1994) and Bitten Nails (1998). In Rumania she published a collection of translated poems, Meta Hanging on Meta Lime Tree (2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies published in several countries.
She acts within the cultural context of the Balkans, while belonging to a generation of poets who address themselves to European and American literature.
Dimkovska’s poems have been characterized as post-modern, or even as post-poetry. They can be presented as prose (as is sometimes done in quotations), but with the lines themselves creating a sensible – and poetic – organization of their content.
In her poems she deals, assertively yet playfully, with her womanhood and the man-woman relationship. Examples are ‘Aloe Vera’, ‘The Poetic Law of Marriage’, ‘A Decent Girl’, and ‘Morphology of the Fairy Tale’.
In the last two poems Dimkovska also uses elements from literary theory and folk poetry. The ‘nine words’ in ‘Morphology of the Fairy Tale’ allude to the nine wounds that many mythological Macedonian and Bulgarian heroes sustain in battle. The tenth wound – the tenth word – means the end.
The Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva once said that all poets are either Jews or displaced persons. Dimkovska develops this motif in ‘Poem of the Beginning’, in which Joseph Brodsky wanders around Michigan. The title refers to Tsvetayeva’s ‘Poem of the End’ from 1924.
[Lidija Dimkovska took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2003. This text was written on that occasion.]