Photo: Ivan Kondev
ANNA LAZAROVA (b. 1993) has a B.A. in Bulgarian Philology and an M.A. in Literary Studies from the University of Sofia, receiving the Student of the Year Award in 2017.
Her works have appeared in various periodicals and websites, and some of her poems have been translated into several languages.
Over the last three years, she has won many awards, including first prize for poetry in the National Student Contest “Georgi Chernyakov” (2015), second prize in the National Youth Poetry Contest “Veselin Hanchev” (2015), and the National Award “Georgi Davidov” (2017). In 2016, Anna Lazarova won the Grand Prize in the National Student Contest “Boyan Penev” and consequently published her first poetry collection, “At Home Everyone Dines on Their Own,” which received one of the accompanying prizes for Best Literary Debut “Yuzhna Prolet” the same year.
Her works have been included in the first volume of “The Zone”, an anthology of contemporary Bulgarian poetry.
wanted to be a woodcarver but became a father
of the kind
that’s seen a lot in life
even without looking at it closely
with eyebrows weighed down by work
with a forehead like an undiscovered continent’s map
with his small daughters
who would grow up
only if he allowed it
but he didn’t allow it
he used to say that in the world
three things are astonishing--
art & people
the third—he’d realized late--
was the & between them
Translated by Ekaterina Petrova
How would you describe the relationship between literature and the city?
I’ve always had this feeling that if I got on a tram and travelled from one end of the city to another, I would be able to write a complete novel. But, in reality, when I get on a tram, it is for just a few stops and I write a poem, which I don’t really like once I’m off the tram.
What do you think would be the best setting for a poetry reading in the city?
It seems to me that a good poetry reading may happen early, early in the morning, near a bonfire. It could be held in a small park or an inner yard somewhere in Sofia; with sky lanterns, freshly baked bread and equally mellow poetry. The best poetry reading would not be this one, though. Perhaps, it has already happened.
Which letter is the scariest?
“O” – if you stepped into it, you would sink. Many people disappeared that way.
What particular ending of a poem is your favourite?
I tend to remember only parts of poems. Yesterday I had no favourite, but today I would pick an untitled poem, written by the Bulgarian poet Dobromir Tonev, which ends like this: “What clashes nature might have spared us/by depriving us from wings to fly.”
Translated by Krassimira Dzhisova