Bosnian poet Ferida Durakovíc has published five collections of poems and two children's books in her native Serbo-Croatian, and her work has been translated into Greek, Slovenian, Turkish, German, and Finnish. In 1998 White Pine Press brought out Heart of Darkness, her first collection to appear in English, translated by Amela Simic and Zoran Mutic.

Durakovíc's poems reflect the world of a young girl whose hopes and dreams are shattered by the Balkan conflicts and the obstinacy and perseverance of a young woman who witnesses the bombing and terrorizing of her city at the hands of those who, only months before, were friends and neighbors. Durakovíc received PEN New England's 1999 Vasyl Stus Freedom-to-Write Award for her "bold decision to keep the PEN Center in Sarajevo open throughout the war, providing every kind of assistance imaginable to writers there" and for "choosing to write-choosing to resist silence and to answer the devastation of war with expression of feeling." She was profiled in poet Christopher Merrill's recent prose work Only The Nails Remain: Scenes From The Balkan Wars and "ABC Nightline" featured a portrait of the poet and her besieged city, directed by Phil Alden Robinson ("Sneakers" and "Field of Dreams"). Durakovíc was also awarded the Hellman-Hammet Grant for Free Expression. She lives in Sarajevo with her husband and young daughter.


Poems by Ferida Durakovíc


Look, Someone Has Moved From The Beautiful Neighbourhood Where Roses Die

To The Antelope




    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 1999