In the gusts of wind

  • September 8, 2015
In the gusts of wind

Afrodita Nikolova wins poetry award at international festival.

The decision of the festival organisers to establish poetry readings for promising young poets from Macedonia is significant because it enables the seeds of words written in Macedonian language to sprout and be shared with international poetic sensibilities.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been given a prestigious award at an international poetry competition.

Afrodita Nikolova was given the Enhalon award for the best poem read by a young poet at the Struga Poetry Evenings festival in Macedonia.

Festival attendees included Chinese poet Bei Dao, American poet and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Yusef Komunyakaa, the Syrian poet Adonis and the Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaktan.

Afrodita won the Enhalon award for her poem 'In the Gusts of Wind'. The last lines read: I know what you’re going to say even before your lip tilts/in the direction we send the dead./You are right,/in the gusts of wind no one is safe/but the nights keep moving as if nothing is a secret.

The jury members Slavitsa Gadzova Sviderska, Nikolina Andova Shopova and Marta Markoska, commented on the selection of the poem as juxtaposing and contrasting the micro with the macrocosm and the reflection on how humans make sense of the subjective truths in life in a universe where time is conveniently divided in sequences.

Afrodita [2014], who is doing a PhD in Education, says: "I am honoured to have been chosen for tihs award. In one of his poems the poet Bei Dao says in the last two lines "but something haunts me furiously:/he's sowing seed across marble floors". I think the decision of the festival organisers to establish poetry readings for promising young poets from Macedonia, where this award "Enhalon" was introduced, is significant because it enables the seeds of words written in Macedonian language to sprout and be shared with international poetic sensibilities rather than be confined to 'marble floors'."

Afrodita Nikolova

Afrodita Nikolova

  • Alumni
  • North Macedonia
  • 2014 PhD Education
  • Wolfson College

As ethnically Aromanian poet I am interested in the "personal" and the "social" in poetry, what Carolyn Forché called "poetry of witness". This shaped my work as English lecturer as well as creative writing programme director and workshop facilitator with youth in diverse learning settings. When my poetry pamphlet "Omaynina" earned the national award "Lesnovski Dzvona", I co-founded the literary magazine "Sh". I felt I was thrown into the Macedonian literary scene with the joy and caution of a child jumping on a trampoline. Doing journalism, educational projects for the NGO "Izlez", I was awarded a scholarship for a Balkan ethnic tensions seminar, Sarajevo. During the MPhil project I explored readers' aesthetic and cultural responses to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and the role of literature in social justice. Expanding my knowledge in the field of the arts practices in the criminal justice system, for my PhD I am working on the arts-based design, delivery and evaluation of a new participatory Spoken Word Poetry Programme (SWPP) for self-development through creative engagement and performance together with young people, the staff and artists/educators in a Macedonian prison.

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