Poems by
Semezdin Mehmedinovic


Wounded Parks

Moorish Fountain


One of Bosnia's most prominent poets and writers, Semezdin Mehmedinovic is the author of four books and has worked as an editor, journalist, and filmmaker. With Benjamin Filipovic he co-wrote and co-directed Mizaldo, one of the first Bosnian films made during the recent war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Presented at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994, the film won first prize at the Mediterranean Festival in Rome the following year. After the war, Mehmedinovic and his family came to the U.S. as political refugees, settling in Alexandria, Virginia.

The English translation of his spare and haunting Sarajevo Blues, written under the horrific circumstances of the war, was praised by The Washington Post as one of the best literary documents of the conflict. Paul Auster writes that the book “is at once a battle report and a philosophical investigation, [charting] the collapse of a world with heart-breaking clarity and precision.” In 2004, the Oakland-based band Charming Hostess released a CD version of Sarajevo Blues scored for voices, beatbox, and string trio.

Mehmedinovic’s most recent volume of poems, Nine Alexandrias, translated by Alcalay and published by City Lights in 2003, was written in response to a cross-country train trip across post 9/11 America and to twenty-first century life in the heart of the empire. The book received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which claimed that at least two of its three sequences “are as good as anything published in English this year.”




Poetry Center Reading:

      Spring 2007