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Kino: The Poetry of Nikola Vaptsarov

Published by Smokestack Books

ISBN: 9780955402807

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Our time is of banality and sorrow.
Rushing headlong towards disaster.
It’s an era of simmering steel
On the threshold of a new tomorrow!

From Epoch

The Bulgarian writer Nikola Vaptsarov (1909-1942) was one of the most significant European poets of the twentieth-century; a radical Modernist whose work has often been compared to that of Mayakovsky and Lorca. Trained as a machine engineer at the Naval Machinery School in Varna, later Naval Academy, he worked at blue-collar machinist jobs most of his life. Because of his underground communist activity against the government of Boris III and the German troops in Bulgaria, he was arrested, subjected to inhuman torture and executed by firing squad. He was thirty-three.

In 1949, the Bulgarian Naval Academy was renamed Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy. In 1952 he received posthumously, the International Peace Award.

I consider Vaptsarov my brother in poetry and struggle
— Yannis Ritsos, celebrated modern Greek poet

Although only one book of Vaptsarov’s poems, Motor Songs, was published in his life-time, since his death his poetry has been translated into over fifty languages. He wrote a quick, colloquial, concrete, argumentative poetry that transcended the usual idioms of Communist ideology to include cinema, radio, adverts, popular culture and modern technology.

”A book worth seeking out.”Poetry Review

”This is an outstanding collection. Who else but Smokestack would have published it?”Penniless Press

Georgi Gospodinov is a Bulgarian poet and novelist. He has published three books of poetry, Lapidarium (1992), The Cherry-Tree of the Nation (1996) and Letters to Gaustin (2003). His debut novel, Natural Novel (1999) has been translated into nine languages, including English, French and Danish. His collection of short stories, And Other Stories (2001) has been published in Austria, France and the Czech Republic. He has also published a book Poetry and Media (2005) on Vaptsarov’s poetry. He edits the Sofia literary and cultural weekly Literaturen Vestnik.
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