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from the March 2017 issue: From the Edges of Europe: New Bulgarian Literature

Female Voices: Montenegrin Women Poets

There is a long history of neglect of the work of women poets in Montenegro. The Montenegrin literary canon reflects patriarchal thought and culture, dominated by elites and not receptive to dissenting voices. The many all-male anthologies and collections of poetry confirm the lack of mapping, the undervaluation and neglect of women poets in Montenegro. 

Some scholars and critics have challenged the reluctance of both the patriarchal society and literary structure to recognize women’s writing, and have initiated the reconsideration of this work in the literary context. In the last three decades women authors have moved beyond and expanded the traditional registers, bringing into Montenegrin literature a sensibility that it was lacking, a lyrical reflection on the individual and the intimate, exploring not only “great themes” but the unpretentious everyday. This postmodern treatment of different literary aspects has established a new literary paradigm, as demonstrated in the three poets presented here.

The poetic expression of Tanja Bakić is cultivated and spontaneous, and also dramatic, as the author intensively observes and analyzes emotion. Her poetry makes a deep plunge into the human soul and the spiritual aspects of existence, reminding us that the existential predisposition to freedom in good artists knows no compromise.  Dragana Tripković's poetry is a magnificent blend of Mediterranean melancholy  and urban perspective. Her poetry reveals the immaterial and ephemeral nature of language, a shifting record of the past. And the poetry of Jovana Uljarević is an act of self-interpretation, as her subtle and deeply considered language produces lucid, discerning work.  

The effort to ensure that Montenegrin female poetic voices are better heard continues. We hope the selection here presents a small sample of the richness and variety to be found.

March 2017
From the Edges of Europe: New Bulgarian Literature
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