Katica Kulavkova

Katica Kulavkova


Photo credit: Žarko Čulić

Katica KULAVKOVA(1951) is a Macedonian writer (poetry, short fictions, essays). She is full Professor of Literary Theory, a regular member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences & Arts and of the European Academy of Sciences & Arts (Salzburg), a Vice President of PEN International. She has published more than thirty books of poetry (into Macedonian original and in translation), as well as two collections of short stories, one play, and approximately forty other books (essays, selections), as both author and editor. Kulavkova has received numerous Macedonian & other literary awards. Leaves in Skopje. Passions: art photo & astrology.



“What forces me

to invent






Death’s hoof

jolts me,

makes me spill

even now, i cannot

hide it, my urges

out of their bed

rising like well-kneaded dough

like well-shaken champagne


Every night i wait

to hear God’s voice between the lines

and remember


My memory is bulked

flowing over the brim

surging lava


I’d give a kingdom for a good poem


I don’t need consolation

so long as the Prompter is giving me

the verses, line by line.”


Translated from Macedonian by Igor Popovski,

And transcreated by Veronica Golos& Catherine Strisik























Leviathan: The White Whale

– In praise of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick


Vengeance is a white gush

a poisonous Druid

No man is your equal,

your path, a God’s finger

pointed and real

echo of the Equator,

a frozen soul in the warm waters,

vengeance is a white gush, heading southward!


Your image is unreachable, godly, satanic, immortal

white, haughty – hey, monstervain and greedy,

hey, Whale

your clear dewy rage

the bloody roar

the weed of your foam

– a lion’s mane on your back


The word can describe you better

than an icon’s paint, you false idol

– perverted sign on the whalers


Merciful marrow, core, rainbow

punish the heathens: hide the truth

you, cartilage of repentance

comply with God’s wisdom


You, Magus

who frolics in the sea’s abyss

– in the womb of the world


You, big nursling

heal your face from the depths


You, perfect lamia

splashy, oily, boiling, deadly…


Translated by Zoran Ančevski









Mat, mat, Maat! Tam, tam, tam! Atman!


Here is thyme for you queen bee, Hypnos

scent in your beehive, hive in friction

and in blossom. Everything is made for you, bee

the sky, the hive

gaping as hungry mouths

a yearning cone, a home,


Spin you astute swarm, whirlpool

you that are in the sky, be on the earth


colonies, beehives, wax beds

ram-memory in the basement and on the floor I give

for your Latin din

for your priceless secretion

a honey-sweet word, an aphrodisiac


even the mead dripping from the skies I give to you

like an archangel and dowry

from somebody’s sweet soul


even a gush of eternity I offer you

“nude as a chicken neck”

so that you collect yourself, beloved

so that you come to the top of the willow

to my nest glowing with ether

with oil extract

with honey-giving herbs


I offer you enigmatic games

crosswords, puzzles,

to fill in the spaces and honeycombs

to make meaningful the cells –

the numberless wax cells

like miniature morels

Everything too you,

for a bit of beebread and pollen

forpropolis and thickly transparent

sticky and slimy amber

ambrosia and yellow jasper


for your immortality balsam

for your sweet youth topping

for the creation drama

for the childhood resin’ the spilt syrup


do you want me to say it clearly:

for honey, molasses!


Then come down, lower down

behind this world, dinning madly, monstrously




Translated by Elizabeta Bakovska& Dijana Mihajlova