Katarina Sarić — A Poet's Unique Voice Echoes
Author: Hana Tiro
Katarina Sarić is a renown writer from Cetinje, Montenegro with a highly unique voice, who has been focusing on the themes of equality and emancipation of marginalised identities. At the Faculty of Philosophy in Nikšić, she graduated in philosophy and then in Montenegrin language and South Slavic literature. At the Faculty of Political Sciences in Podgorica, she is completing postgraduate studies in social policy and social work.
She has published in almost all literary genres, her stories have been published in numerous domestic and international journals for literature and culture, such as “Ars” Cetinje, “Diogen” Sarajevo, “Avangrad” Sombor, “Akt” Valjevo, “Anima-art” Belgrade, “Urbana riječ” Zagreb, “Radio- gornji grad” Zagreb, “Europski glasnik” Zagreb, “Balkanski književni glasnik”, “Književne vertikale” Beograd, “Bundolo” Novi Sad, “Avlija” Rožaje, “Pljuskovi” Mladenovac, “Slovoslovlje” Vienna, “Zeleni konj” Belgrade, “Majdan” Kostolac, “Riječ” Brčko itd.,some of them are translated in English are published at “The Baffler” USA i “Revijata Branuvanja” Struga.
Her poems have been translated into Romani, English and Russian. Translated into Russian, her poems are featured in magazines “Литературно- художестенный журнал- Новая юность” i “Homo Legens”.
Works in English are published in “World poetry yearbook”, 2014. (english edition), “Balkan poetry today”, “The Wagon” magazine Chennai, India, “Pratik a magazine of contemporary writing” Nepal, “The Future Fire”, social-political speculative fiction magazine, UK, “Silver Apples Magazine” Ireland, “Painted Bride Quarterly” – new woman voices magazine Philadelphia, “Broad Street Magazine” Richmond Virginia, “The Missing Slate Poetry” – international magazine Pakistan, “Gremlin Creative” – multimedia literary journal, “Solstice Literary” – magazine of diverse voices, “Meat for tea” – The Valley Review, “Baltimore Review”, “Badlands Literary Journal” California, “American Chordata”, “The Cincinnati Review”, “The Paddock Review Poetry”, “A Velvet Giant” – online literary journal, “The Antigonish Review” – the oldest creative-writing journal, Canada i “Cold coffee stand” Ireland.
Katarina says that writing poetry is an experience that broke through all of her inner fears and insecurities. She liberated herself through poetry, even though she had already published two novels before that. Today, she says that poetry made her into a woman.
As a young woman, because of the civil war that left a deep influence on her personality, she started to read revolutionary poets, such as Majakovski, Marina Cvetajeva and Lorka which shaped her voice in the latter time.
Commenting on contemporary poetry scene in Montenegro, Sarić says:
The modern scene in Montenegro, is practically inexistent. One reason for that is because we still have a strong community of male writers, as well as national communities that supports traditional forms with motives from national amd epic history. We also don’t really have a scene for alternative performances, because we are still a traditional patriarchal society.
Her poetry is very deeply intimate but also with a very strong social engagement, because she is daily engaged in a struggle with prejudices, such as cultural differences, with lack of justice, freedom of speech, equality of voices of men and women. Adding her thoughts on equality:
...it is not only a struggle for female voices but also for all kinds of different and marginalized representations, including cultural, LGBTQ and national minorities. Position of women in world literature today is much different than in my country. Out there there are lots of strong female voices that finally break through phallocentric form.
Poem “Shell” recited by the author for the “Festival of Hope 2”: A Global Virtual Poetry Initiative by Versopolis, January 2021
Read the poem at the end of the article.
Katarina Saric is also a resident of Readings Balkan for 2021 in Culture for change project, funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo and is implemented by Qendra Multimedia and Goethe-Institut.
Whole world is twisted and turned with pandemic situation, and most think of it as a blockage in their creativity. Katarina's unique perception of reality lets her think a bit differently:
The pandemic created a new situation, more virtual than it already has been, with all the internet communication, such as poetry events on zoom application, Skype readings and so on. I find that aspect positive. Thanks to new technology we can connect with poets from all the world. However, live performances, poetry festivals cannot be replaced by technology. Connections and interactions with the audience is something that we badly need. I hope that it is just a phase, and not some permanent state.
You can follow her work
When stretched under the bark
whose womb is torn up by her sons
and the fear has gone from
I will collect the hem of the pleated dress
and will sew in a new heart
to suit a solemn affair
as sewed on
this face and this picture
sick from anemia
-I need air
the cast of mining shaft
is recast in the last
cycle of alchemy
dried out tears from the cradle
When the sea spits out
the last bones of the domesticates fossils
I will be sitting on the beach
plucking stones from stones
positioned as the postcard girl
in that cliche
and unavoidably dreamy
with that lovelock over the brow
I will pose in the glory of innocence
of the new birth
while, actually, I would want to scream
and destroy the frame
-I need air
under Heracles' stairways
the Greek tragedians who glorified patricide
justified it as ignorance
dead is my shame
and no-one came
to its burrial
it went straight to spam
When she gets up and streches
in the last cry
of epic storm
who stays breathless
When father and brother and friend are gone
I will come back to that old place of ours
under the Iron bridge
I will cut out from cement the names long engraved
take them away
I will become the ring of time
that closes the circle
away from the land of our ancestors