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Astal Projections – The new youth of the Macedonian literature


3.5.ЛОГО ASTALNIOn 03/06/2014 (tuesday) in ‘Menada’ (the Old Skopian Bazaar) at 08:30 PM, of mother Pepi and father Dime, the Astal Projections were born. Their Sun is in Gemini, their Moon is a Leo and their Ascendant is Sagittarius.

The purpose of Astal Projections is to give freedom of expression through the literary forms, making the new youth center in the Macedonian creativity and place us all together in a nice corner of the present, because we all owe that to each other. Astal Projections is a fireplace that should warm us with its stories conveying value, and foremost, conveying the tie between the people and the language.

From now on, Diversity and Astal Projections are best friends! Diversity as the older one, shall assist Astal Projections in their growth.

The authors who participated and/or will participate in Astal Projections will be given the e-space needed for creative expression.


Biljana Stojanovska was born in 1984. She graduated from the Blaže Koneski Faculty of Philology in Skopje, at the Macedonian Literature and South Slavic Literatures Department. Her first poetry collection, Zborovite nemaat značenje (Words Have No Meaning), is to come out this year. She has been working as a journalist at the Nova Makedonija daily for six years.


I do not understand the world at all
For this bitter anguish I sometimes take diazepam
At times I drink myself into a stupor
I may go to a party without having a single drop
And analyze people for hours.

I sometimes sit on the toilet for half an hour
And read the beauty product instructions
As if discovering the meaning of life

I sometimes close myself off and wait for Godot

Too much tolerance is a downward spiral
Kindness is always misunderstood
In love, there is calculation
In the soul, malversation
On the body, information

I sometimes put the pillow
Where the feet are supposed to go
And I lie in bed upside down
So that even there, in my sleep, I may strike a balance with the world

Translated by: Kalina Janeva



Had Romeo and Juliet not killed themselves,
Their love would’ve resembled ours
Romeo would’ve lied he had to take a trip,
And Juliet that she’d got held up at work
So she could hang out at the bar
The next day, as if nothing ever happened,
They would’ve drunk their morning coffee,
Played footsie under the table
While discussing the stories in the papers

Had Romeo and Juliet not killed themselves,
They would’ve most definitely taken lovers.

Translated by: Kalina Janeva


D. A. Lori (Dolores Atanasova-Lori) was born in 1974, in Germany. She spent the early years of her childhood in Germany, and then moved to Ohrid with her family, where she finished high-school. In 1993, she moved to Skopje, where she graduated at the Faculty of Philology. Since her graduation, she has been working as an English teacher, in Skopje. Some of her poems were published in Bookbox. Her first book, “Awakening in third person singular”, was published by Blesok, in 2014.



We live in cages filled with transience and matter trapped in time.
Mine has Internet, a table, walls, wishes and weird fishes.
Quite often, the key and what I want, is in another cage.



I miss the sound of grasshoppers on a summer evening,
silly me, not being able to find the other flip-flop ,
so I could run after glowworms on the other side of the street.



There are people that are like that strong pressure of fingers
on sunburnt skin, all red and hurting from the summer sun.
Release the pressure, and they are gone, as if they were never there.


Your mistake

Whenever I leave you
you hold your hand out.
No one knows
if you haven’t taken enough
or given enough.

Whenever I leave you,
your eyes tighten,
your forehead loses itself
in the shadow of your own body.
I leave you standing there, quiet
and full of unsaid things.

Your mistake.


Nikolina Andova Shopova was born on 3 feb. 1978 in Skopje. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology (Macedonian and South Slavic literature) at the St Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. She writes poetry and her haiku takes part in the anthology of the new wave of Macedonian haiku. She has published two books of poetry „The entrance is on the other side“(2013) and „Connect the dots“ (2014).

Her first book „The entrance is on the other side“ was awarded with the prestigious award „Bridges of Struga“ in 2013, award of UNESCO and the Struga Poetry evenings for best debutante book.



Everything here is pierced
the sky we spy through the lenses of the telescopes
and the folders on our office desks
the little windows in the ship cabins when we
and the massive walls in the temples in which we pray

And the blankets of the secret lovers burnt from cigarettes
are pierced
and the world we see through the rings of the ancestors
the memories like cookie-dough when we shape
the targets in humans forms on which we practice shooting

everything, everything is pierced
the spy-holes on the doors closed for beggars
the earth from the ant’s destroyed homes
god who we search through the circular openings of the domes

Translated by: Gorjan Kostovski


I Am Closing

There is a fan
With the map of the world
Closing inside me for years

Dryland’s slowly narrowing,
Volcanoes go extinct,
Rivers stop, lighthouses freeze
Deserts roll up
Like dust-laden carpets

One day I will open the fan
And the whole world will spread inside me
Together with the skies and the wings
Of the great birds

Translated by: Kalina Janeva


Bistra Kumbaroska opened her eyes for the first time in 1984, in Struga, Macedonia and since then she loves looking at different things: blue sky, green grass, pure water, people and Suns. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski” in Skopje, and she is finishing her Master studies in International Business in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has been part of the organizational committee of the renowned poetry festival “Struga Poetry Evenings” for 10 years in a row and in the warmest day of 2011, she published her first poetry book “You don’t care about poetry”. Since then, her poems live in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, Sweden, and UK. At the moment, Bistra is working in the field of youth and social innovations, a career that took her on a journey to Slovenia, Sub-saharan Africa and Singapore. She she talks about herself, she usually says “Poetry is what I am, everything else is what I do.” She doesn’t trust short biographies (neither long ones), but she believes in the power of connection, so for more information, feel free to find her on the social media networks or at bistra.kumbaroska@gmail.com


[The word you belong to]

You are a word I have never found in any book or dictionary,
a word that embraces the bitterness of a raven
and the lightness of a flight,
a word that has no meaning
unless it’s felt, unless it burns within,
a word that touches all senses
except the auditory perception,
an unpronounceable word,
too complex to be captured by sound.
You are a word
that has the power of a nightmare,
but the antonym of it,
the most uplifting dream ever,
you are a word that cuts through all expectations
and smiles at what is left.
You are a word that stands on its own,
that has never entered a sentence,
a beginning and an end in itself,
“a tribe of two”*
and a home of nothing we see.
In a forest of languages and clicks,
you are the word that opens every season.
I hear nothing
except my breath
whenever I try to pronounce you.

*inspired by Igor Isakovski, “Tribe of two”, 2014


To Vienna

a hidden flower on a sun seeking street
that is what you are

a misty breath of silence on a crowded day
expected wind caused by a passing subway train

perfected balance of talks, acts and reminders
measuring sorrows and smiles only by traffic light timers

with 50 to 70 thousand of thoughts per day
I wonder how full and how empty can one person remain

made of letters or made of clouds
words are worlds built from human hearts

you talk to me through budding stars

a melody that bridges between A and B
a plosive cut that separates P and B

as long as humans can burst into tears
I am free to believe
that one day
I will burst into thee.


A world of change

We grow and live in a world of change.
This way or that way, here or there,
change is all we talk about (even preach about)
change is all we hear about (even repeat with no doubt).

And yet,
when McDonald’s changes the daily menus
or when Facebook announces new changes to the Timeline,
I feel like deleting all TED talk about change
and replacing them with a new worldwide movement of statics.

Yes, a movement of statics,
something similar to my home country
which always had to run in order to stay in one place,
so that I then run through streets of foreign countries
and in foreign languages
I learn all versions and meanings of the word progress,
so that one day,
that one day,
when I stood amidst the green landscape of Africa,
in Kabale,
in that abandoned colorful landscape
melting under 40 degrees Celsius,
untouched by progressive benchmarks,
I would stop
with no water,
no mobile,
no poems
and simply stand, with myself
and one thought:
everything flows, everything changes
but one day true happiness will simply mean standing in one place.

A place like Africa.


Istok Ulcar (1996) is the author of the book of poems “Shadows through the Circus Tent”, published in 2014. His poetry is represented in several collections of works done by young Macedonian and former-Yugoslav authors, such as the “Anthology of the Macedonian Young Avant-garde Poetry”, “Lyrical Dodecameron” and “Rukopisi 36”.
He has took part in several literary readings, including the “Punctuation-less Nights” held as part of the SPE festival and “Pesnilo”. His poems have been translated on Serbian and English language.



Currently, I am in my home
I have the shape of a wasted Übermensch,
willing to conquer the floor,
although the pillow is more important to him.
The Sun’s hallmark burns me.

With the new Apollo 50
made out of Strontium
I land on Mars and become
it’s first colonizer.

I turn into a chemist
trapped into two triangles
by the Arab inquisitors.

Songs, sticks and stones
are walking under the hegoat’s hoofs
creating the prohibited number.

I feel my Fatherland’s
suffocating me,
taking my sight away.

I am now chained
on wall-coloured Sun
and a man in a uniform is about
to tear my body apart.

Tearing my skin up,
he sets me free from reality,
so I fall asleep on the mattress
made of the ashes of the ideologies.

Good might!

Translated by: Elena Prendjova



I puked my life in a plastic bag
And throw it out of the seventh floor.

Let me enjoy, Jack,
The dark landscape drown
On my closed eyelids.

Let me puke my life, Jack,
In an organic plastic bag.

Let the black demons, Jack
Carry me in their chambers.
Every place is better than this one.

I don’t want a reincarnation.
I don’t want once more to
Go through these flames,
Where the hotel-owners bankrupt
Because of the huge internet-bills,
Where dead people run for
Emperors, kings and presidents,
Where the children mourn
For closed web-sites,
Where newborns are saving
Money for their funerals.

“Mr. Jones,
The Death wants to visit you.”
That’s the sweet voice of
My secretary, Jack.
“Let her in.” I’ll welcome her
With my arms friendly open.

The eternal freedom has finally arrived.

Translated by: Istok Ulchar


Marjan Minov is born 26.03.1986 in Strumica, a graduate art historian. His work is published in the almanacs at the student circle Dawn, the magazines Loza, Razgledi, Mravki (a Macedonian haiku magazine), Sovremenost, Rukopisi, The Balkan Literary Messenger and more. His work is also included in several anthologies: “Young Macedonian Poetry” (SVP, 2009), “New Wave Macedonian Haiku” (SVP 2011) and “The Wind Brings Nice Weather” (Matica Macedonian, 2012). He participated in several poetry festivals in the country and abroad.

He has not yet issued a book because he wants his lyrics to vibrate through the air. Currently he lives in Skopje and he is breathing on daily basis the city smog, but he constantly walks the world in meditation.



I buried a Sanskrit in the yard,
so my house was declared
to be national treasure.
I now live alone among the memories of the rusty pots and items,
and my adrenaline is running even higher when I glance
my inoperable shotguns.
( Tranquilizers are not invented yet. )

I buried a dream dreamt by no man
so I was declared to be a hero instantly.

People come, people go
and with their every coming
the furniture is being demolished
and a piece of history is being stolen.
So it slowly starts to be forsaken.

I buried a prophecy
but I was condemned to never fulfill it.
I buried a future
-there was nothing to be found.


The day

When you will wake on that day
you will set your eyes on carelessness.

On that day you will learn
your perception of the world is not trustworthy,
you are not your envision of yourself and you are away.
That will be the day.



A few hungry birds
standing under my window
-it still isn’t spring yet

Instead of the Moon
a street light on my window
– there’s no difference.

A swarm of bees all
over me. I’m wearing
a flowery t-shirt.

The dog is barking
in the shadow. And it is
not dark outside yet.


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