A pointed intellect is in charge: a restless, ironic intelligence… -Maria Topali, newspaper “Kathimerini”, Biblio, 08.04.2019; * * * * * Like Wittgenstein meeting Kafka, you might say. This “Tractatus” could well be taught at schools as an example of the difference between poetry and “poeticality”. - Orfeas Apergis, newspaper “Ta Nea”, Poetry, 03.08.2019; * * * * * Boukova manages to transfuse Balkan tradition to contemporary expressive means, to transform inner experience to extroversive manifestation, comfortably balancing at the border between modern and postmodern. Original in their conception and execution images and a poetic force which subdues sentimentalism, these are poems that any contemporary poet would aspire to write. Stavros Zafeiriou (poet), Entefktirio journal


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Iana Boukova, poet, writer, translator in conversation with Ekaterina Petrova. Capital - #4, 31.01.2020

Iana Boukova, poet, writer, translator in conversation with Ekaterina Petrova. Capital - #4, 31.01.2020

I believe that laughter is a form of knowledge. It is awareness of our human boundaries, of the innate and unsolvable impasse defined by our nature and our biological destiny. It is as well some kind of evolutionary mechanism for survival of the two mind-breaking "short circuits" of logic: the endlessness and the death. As children, we instinctively learn to laugh at the absurd, to experience a strangely joyful pleasure in realizing it: there is nothing more ridiculous about a child from the absurdity, where it expects meaning, from the chaos, where it awaits order.
We are preparing for what we will encounter throughout our lives. We create protection. Laughter exists to keep us from going crazy. It is a healing solution where there is no solution. This is the way to continue to live, resigned to the impasse. That's why laughing in art is such a serious thing. Any meaningful art sooner or later draws on these two themes: infinity and death. Any meaningful art sooner or later comes to laughter.



The National Poetry Award "Ivan Nikolov" 2019 was awarded to Iana Boukova for her poetry book "Notes of the Phantom Woman", published by the Janet 45 Printing and Publishing Company.
The winner received a statuette made by the artist Hristo Gochev.
The award ceremony for the prestigious National Poetry Award took place on December 11 (Wednesday) 2019 at 6:00 pm at the "Peroto" Literary Club in partnership with the National Book Centre of the National Palace of Culture
The competition featured 37 books from 22 publishers, published between October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019. Jury composed of: Prof. Ph.D. Svetlozar Igov (Chairman) - scholar, literary critic, poet and writer; Assoc. Prof. Yordan Eftimov - poet, teacher and literary critic and Julian Zhiliev - literary critic and teacher, nominate the following poetry books (in alphabetical order of authors):


ßíà Áóêîâà å íîñèòåëÿ íà Íàöèîíàëíà íàãðàäà çà ïîåçèÿ


Iana Boukova won the National Poetry Award "Ivan Nikolov" during the Sofia International Book Fair. She was awarded for her poetry book "Notes of the Phantom Woman".
The short list consistedof 10 books by one of the most significant contemporary Bulgarian poets. The National Poetry Award “Ivan Nikolov” was founded in 1994 by the publishing house “Janet 45” and is given annually for 25th time. Through it the publishing house testifies its support for Bulgarian poetry and literature. The first prize winner was the poet Christo Fotev, followed over the years by some of the most famous Bulgarian poets as Konstantin Pavlov, Vera Mutafchieva, Ivan Tzanev, Ekaterina Yosifova, Ivan Teofilov, Nikolay Kanchev, Ani Ilkov, Georgi Gospodinov, CSilvia Choleva, Marin Bodakov.
Bulgarian National Radio
Ploshtad Slaveikov
Kulturni Novini


By Katerina Iliopoulou

In what language can we make poetry today? How do we engender a poetic discourse that is alive, with edge and attuned to the present, the inner existential present as well as the historic and social one? How does that discourse not merely attune itself, but initiate a dialogue? Drapetomania, Iana Boukova’s new book, answers these questions in its own artistic way, having assimilated in a thoroughly idiosyncratic manner both poignant lyricism and intensive image-making, which comprise her poetic ancestry, as well as the contemporary trend towards documentation poetry. The outcome is a one-of-a-kind book, a poetry of thinking which produces in the form of well-crafted poems the language it needs in order to reflect.
PDF (English)...

Elizabeth Kostova Foundation presents Iana Boukova's Traveling in the Direction of the Shadow

Monday, 18 November 2019, 19:00-21:00
Bulgarian Consulate General, 121 E 62nd St, NY, NY 10065

The event will feature a reading and conversation between the Bulgarian author Iana Boukova and her translator in English Ekaterina Petrova, led by the New Direction's editor Tynan Kogane.


Iana Boukova
is a Bulgarian poet, writer, translator, and essayist. Born in Sofia in 1968, she has a degree in Classics from Sofia University. She is the author of the poetry books Diocletian’s Palaces (1995), Boat in the Eye (2000), and Notes of the Phantom Woman (2018), the short story collections A as in Ànything (2006) and Tales With No Return (2016), and the novel Traveling in the Direction of the Shadow (2014). Her poems and short stories have been translated into Greek, Spanish, French, German, and Arabic, among others. English translations of her texts have appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Best European Fiction 2017, Two Lines, Drunken Boat, Zoland Poetry, Take Five, and Absinthe.


Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center
ALTA42: Sight and Sound Conference
of the American Literary Translators Association 7-8 November 2019

8 November 2019, 10:45am – 12:00 pm, Highland G. Art Omi Translation Lab 2019
Join the writers and translators from Translation Lab 2019 as they share and discuss their work. Every fall, Art Omi: Writers, a residency program in New York’s Hudson Valley, hosts four Englishlanguage translators along with the writers whose work is being translated into English. Translators working on various types of texts—from fiction and nonfiction to theater and poetry—enjoy a short, intensive residency that provides them with an integral stage of refinement and the chance to dialogue with writers about text-specific questions. Translation Lab also serves as an essential community-building environment for English-language translators who are working to increase the amount of international literature available to English-language readers.
Moderator: DW Gibson
Participants: Ekaterina Petrova and Iana Boukova, Mara Faye Lethem and Marta Orriols, Sung Ryu and Choi Eunyoung, Vala Thorodds and Kristin Omarsdottir, more...

European Literature Network

Iana Boukova's Traveling in the Direction of the Shadow presented in the European Literature Network
The European Literature Network presented on his site on Friday 18-th October 2019 extracts From TRAVELING IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SHADOW by Iana Boukova, translated by Ekaterina Petrova. Ekaterina Petrova, is this year’s winner of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation’s competition for participation in the International Writers’ Residence in Norwich for her work on the translation of Boukova's “Travelling in the Direction of the Shadow”.
Chapter 1 Yovana or The Birth of the Hero (excerpt):
All that Yovana had left of him was a bite on her neck and an empty shirt. “Like a snake,” she said, after the first few months had passed. And though she said it to herself, the ‘s’ snapped like a whip and turned the scar violet. The shirt held an entire body inside itself, retained its outline through its scent, and at night slept next to her in the bed. But the shirt eventually gave up too, defeated by time, and nothing remained in it any longer. What could she do with a dead shirt but wash it and put it away in the trunk where it belonged, to never again take it out nor throw it out. The scar turned bloody every time she picked at it and tried to reproduce...


Literary Evening at the Bulgarian Embassy in London.
The Bulgarian Embassy in London hosted a literary evening with the participation of the renowned contemporary translator of Bulgarian literature Angela Rodel and Ekaterina Petrova, a young Bulgarian translator and this year’s winner of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation’s competition for participation in the International Writers’ Residence in Norwich. The evening began with a discussion of the importance and role of the translator, the challenges of translating Bulgarian literature into English, and the latest projects that both translators have worked on. These are Prof. Valery Stefanov’s book “Love Stories from the Babylonian Library” and “Travelling in the Direction of the Shadow” by Iana Boukova. The audience had the opportunity to hear excerpts from both works read in Bulgarian and English by their translators.more...

poetry now

A talk about poetry now.
A discussion on Poetry Now: A collective book of essays where seven poets - Vasilis Amanatidis, Orfeas Apergis, Phoive Giannise, Katerina Eliopoulou, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Iana Boukova and Theodoros Chiotis answer nine questions on contemporary poetics. The book deals with the relationship of poetry to public space, artistic form and aesthetic criteria. It also addresses the relationship with the ancestors, the construction of the self, poetry and knowledge, oratory, the body, historical and social circumstances, contemporary philosophy and theory, and the relationship of poetry with other forms of art.


“THE STONE QUARTER” by Iana Boukova. Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

Published in Volume 24, Issue 1: World Hellenisms, Fall 2018 of Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation owned and operated by the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

How can I explain that I don’t even need to dream? It’s enough just to look at the wall in my room. Or simply to look around. As a rule, when I try to retell my nightmares, I use the system for retelling nightmares. I sit on one of the guests’ laps and start crying silently. The guests are very impressed by silent crying. Far more so than by the loudest scream. “Oh,” they say, their lips rounding like zeroes. The first thing I see on their faces is annoyance. After surprise. Annoyance at their surprise.
The women most often cover my face in kisses. Their lips become damp from my tears, their cheeks also grow wet, their makeup smears and afterwards I have to wash it off my face. That bit with the kisses is convenient...

"The Stone Quarter"

European Literature Network

We’re very proud that our newest issue of Two Lines, Issue 25, features a story from the under-appreciated nation of Bulgaria: “A Is for Anything,” an elliptical, obsessive story by the Bulgarian writer Iana Boukova, translated by Angela Rodel.
So to help inspire even more future translations from this rich literary tradition, here are 5 can’t-miss selections of poetry and fiction. It’s your intro the Bulgarian scene!
And make sure to purchase Two Lines 25 (or subscribe) to read Iana Boukova’s story—you’ll get that taste of Bulgarian lit, plus almost a dozen more languages in our new issue.

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We are simultaneously the spider web and the spider, Boukova’s poetic work seems to indicate, with its continuous engendering of connections. It transforms the self-evident, adds itself to the mystery without solving it, aware that it is a part of it, and expounds its unrelenting logic, stretching it to the point of absurdity. -Katerina Iliopoulou, “FRMK” magazine * * * * * The Bulgarian poet Iana Boukova with her book “The minimal garden”, in a very good translation into greek by Dimitris Allos, has easily gained herself a place in contemporary greek poetry, transplanting memory in all things, honoring with affection what is hurt or hunted, being able to look beyond the future into man’s adventure……….. Dino Siotis, (poet), (de)kata journal

© 2019, Iana Boukova
Contact e-mail: bukova.iana(at)gmail.com