Photo: Yana Lozeva
MARIN BODAKOV (b. 1971) has been a long-standing literary editor at Kultura Weekly and Assistant Professor at the Department of Press Journalism and Book Publishing at the University of Sofia, where he has taught Opinion Journalism and Literary Criticism since 2006. He is the author of eight books of poetry including “Declaration of Failure” (2002), “Angel in the Zoo” (2008) “Naive Art” (2011; National Award “Ivan Nikolov” for Best Poetry Book of the Year), “Northern Notebook” (2013), “The Fight for You” (2016). For “The Fight for You” (2016), he has received the National Literary Award “Pamet”. Marin Bodakov is also the laureate of the 2014 Knight of the Book Award of the Bulgarian Book Association, as well as of the 2015 National Award “Hristo G. Danov” for his journalistic contribution to the promotion of Bulgarian books (jointly with Milena Kirova and Angel Igov). His other books include “The Child at the School Desk” (co-authored with Zornitsa Hristova; 2012) and “Translated from...” (2013), a collection of interviews that he conducted with Bulgarian literary translators. In 2010, together with his wife, Zornitsa Hristova, and with Valentina Boyadzhieva, he established “Tochitza”, a publishing house for children’s educational literature.
A secret crown,
rendered in surrender
by the hands of the Glagolitic
to the head of the Cyrillic;
three fingers before my lips:
Translated by Ekaterina Petrova
How would you describe the relationship between literature and the city?
The city and literature are like a matrimonial couple who grow ever more content over the years.
What do you think would be the best setting for a poetry reading in the city?
Under a night-lamp, with the light falling on the page with the poem, but not on you.
Which letter is the scariest?
“Ш” (Bulgarian pronunciation – “sh”) – it looks like a crown, a trident... This is the only letter, which remained intact in the transition from the Glagolitic to the Cyrillic alphabet.
What particular ending of a poem is your favourite?
An ending, which is not followed by applause.
Translated by Krassimira Dzhisova