Poetry: Kapka Kassabova | clivejames.com
[Invisible line of text as temporary way to expand content column justified text width to hit margins on most viewports, simply for improved display stability in the interval between column creation and loading]

Kapka Kassabova

Born in Bulgaria in 1973, domiciled in Auckland and now based in Edinburgh when not roaming the world, Kapka Kassabova is among the most prominent of the younger New Zealand poets and novelists, and is rapidly acquiring the international reputation she deserves. Her main collection of poetry is Someone Else’s Life, published in Britain by Bloodaxe and in New Zealand by the Auckland University Press. For that collection I was delighted to provide a cover note, from which the following is an excerpt.

“In the suitcase that she has mentally lived out of since she was a little girl, Kapka Kassabova has brought the turbulent memories of 20th century European history with her to New Zealand, where she recollects bad dreams in comparative tranquillity, and always with the phrasing of a born musician.”

A new collection, Geography for the Lost, was published in March, 2007 by Bloodaxe. The ten poems here were chosen by the author, from her previous collections and also from work not yet published in book form.

She has a significant publishing event coming up in 2008: Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria, a prose travel memoir which should place her poetry in context even for those critics – some of them among her fellow literati in New Zealand, oddly enough – who have not yet shown themselves capable of realising that her ability to be contemplative about the turmoil of homelessness provides the impulse for a unique poetic excursion.