The first volume in Arc's New Voices from Europe, a series of anthologies featuring the work of contemporary poets written in what might be described as the 'small' languages of Europe.
The six young Slovenian poets - three male (Uros Zupan, Peter Semolic and Gregor Podlogar) and three female (Vida Mokrin-Pauer, Maja Vidmar and Natasa Velikonja) - who contribute to this anthology are from the post-postmodernist generation, the generation that came of age in the 1990s and that takes the freedoms of an independent nation-state as a given.
Although their work may have more in common with that of poets in wider Europe (even North America) than with their predecessors in the Slovenian cultural tradition (as described in the illuminating introduction to this volume), they write with a distinctiveness and originality that, to quote from the introduction, "traverses the hitherto neglected terrain of colloquial speech, hybrid identities and cultural sensibilities of an urban capitalist milieu".
This is a fascinating introduction to contemporary Slovenian poetry.
"This is the first in a new series of bilingual anthologies from Arc, with the admirable aim of bringing the work of a younger generation of poets across Europe to a wider English-language readership. Six Slovenian Poets fulfils this endeavour with a varied selection of poets under forty, all published for the first time within the past decade and all, in their various ways, breaking with Slovenian literary tradition. These young poets reference the Beckhams, Dolce & Gabbana, Sinead O’Connor and Gilbert and George as well as Paz, Yeats and Auden: poems, as Gregor Podlogar comments in Ana Jelnikar and Stephen Watts’ fine translation, for when ‘54 TV programmes / just aren’t enough’."
Modern Poetry in Translation