The writer, editor, critic, anthologist, essayist and translator Branko Čegec (1957) made his poetic debut with experimental poems, and subsequently devoted himself to free verse. A highly influential editor, first of one of the most significant literary magazines in the former Yugoslavia, Quorum (1985-1989), and then in his own publishing firm, Meander, which he founded in 1992; in 1999 he was appointed the chairman of the managing board of Goranovo Proljeće, the most important poetry festival in Croatia.
His melancholic and neurotic lyrical subject matter can also be recognised in the poetry of many younger Croatian poets, male and female, on whom he has had a major influence. He is equally at home using elements taken from popular music and media culture, as well as with those mainly encountered through reading and in translating.
Some of his poetry reflects a “bookish” inspiration, in the sense that that many of his poems, which seem at first sight to have been written spontaneously, and which deal with fleeting, shifting, ephemeral layers of everyday personal experiences, should properly be regarded as bearing complex relationships with other, mostly foreign, poetic and artistic works and creations. His is also a poetry of engagement, in the sense that it takes a reactive stance to events in the immediate social environment. And here his poems may be read as texts written by an observer who is a chance participant (even an unwilling one) in the events which are taking place in front of the reader, one who in speaking of the other wishes to speak of himself as a lyric subject.
Eros-Europa-Arafat, SKUD I. G. Kovačić, Zagreb, 1980
Zapadno-istočni spol, A. Cesarec, Zagreb, 1983
Melankolični ljetopis, ICR, Rijeka, 1988
Ekrani praznine, Naklada MD, Zagreb, 1992; second edition, 2003
Nitko ne govori hrvatski, (bilingual Croatian-French edition, with M. Mićanović and I. Prtenjača); selected and translated by V. Mikšić and B. Radić, Meandar, Zagreb, 2002
Tamno mjesto, Meandar, Zagreb, 2005
Strast razlike, tamni zvuk praznine - hrvatsko pjesništvo osamdesetih i devedesetih; (an anthology with M. Mićanović), Naklada MD, Zagreb, 1995
Presvlačenje avangarde, essays and critiques, CDD SSOH, Zagreb, 1983
Fantom slobode, essays, Naklada MD, Zagreb, 1994
Goran Prize for Young Poets (1980)
7 Sekretara SKOJ-a Award (1983)