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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Drapetomania [1] (Excerpts)

2019 National Poetry Award

Paradoxically, all roads end
in the unsolvable mystery of freewill.
Paradoxically, every time I find my back against the wall,
I speak in the first person.
Yesterday I saw a blind man crossing the road
while the light was red.

The most mysterious story of Borges is thought to be The Sect of the Phoenix.
He talks about a hidden community that comes from the depths of time.
Its members have taken part in all the pogroms of history.
Its members have been victims of all the pogroms of history.
They have always concealed their Secret. Nothing sets them apart from other people.

A description of the initiation does not clarify the picture:
A slave, a leper, a beggar plays the role of mystagogue...
A child can indoctrinate another child...
In itself the act is trivial, momentary...
The necessary materials are cork, wax, or gum arabic...
silt; this, too, is often used...
There are no temples...a ruin, a cellar,
an entrance way are considered propitious sites.

The view is prevalent among scholars that Borges is referring to the act of intercourse. (His own unclear sexuality perhaps gives rise to this hypothesis.)

There are more eccentric versions – a religious community, structured around the use of hallucigens.

I propose humiliation.

Burnt cork, Gum arabic and most of all silt – things that stain.
Wax and resin – things that sticks.
Insult can be done by anyone to anyone, at any age, in any place.
It is always kept secret. Initiation is inescapable.

Only a Borges could think up a sect which all mankind secretly adheres to.

The Sect of the Disgraced.

Everything in history is rhythm.
Rhythm is the dialect of the masses.

Trotsky to the DJs

[1] Drapetomania – an overwhelming urge to run away. (From ancient Greek drapetes - “runaway slave” + mania – “madness”.) The conjectural mental illness hypothesized by a white physician as the cause of enslaved Africans fleeing captivity.
[2] Jorge Luis Borges, The Sect of the Phoenix, 1952

©Iana Boukova Notes of the Phantom Woman Publisher: Janet 45, Plovdiv 2018

Iana Boukova is a Borgesian type of author. She favors play, references, riddles unexpected twists, ironies, and the dramaturgy of verse. She possesses deep knowledge not just in the sphere of the humanities, in which she specialized, but she is also enticed by science, she knows a lot, and all of this is reflected in the Notes of the Phantom Woman.

A ruthless game. By Silvia Cholevà, Ê – The journal of criticism, debate and cultural pleasures, Iss. 8, 23.11.2018

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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)