NIKOLA PETROV (b. 1987) is the author of the books of poetry “Tightrope Walker” (2012) and “Fury/white” (2017). He won first prize in the 2009 National Youth Poetry Contest “Veselin Hanchev”, and has taken part in several stage performances “Actors versus Poets” at Sfumato Theatre Workshop. His works have been published in the literary newspaper Literaturen Vestnik and Crossroads among others.
The streets but never their names
the breath of early spring but never the date
the agony of the victim but never the killer
the grief but never the motive
the mien of the detective but never the clues
the bristling of the night but never the storyline
our silent touch
Translated by Desislava Nikolova
How would you describe the relationship between the city and literature?
It’s like the relationship between nature and literature because the city is namely nature of its kind, however much anyone may try to represent it as something artificial. And it would be impossible not to write about your nature, even if you tried.
What do you think would be the best setting for a poetry reading in the city?
Any place where it’s possible for silence to pervade the air. The same applies to reading in front of a public.
Which letter is the scariest?
It’s “ь” (the so-called “small yer” in Bulgarian which is a soundless letter) as it’s not what it seems to be.
What particular ending of a poem is your favourite?
The ending of the poem “Pines” by the Bulgarian poet Binyo Ivanov: “I, who will hunch over,/I have my doubts about you.”
Translated by Krassimira Dzhisova