Interview: Katarina Sarić
Katarina Sarić is a renown Montenegrin writer with a higly unique voice, who has been focusing on the themes of equality and emancipation of marginalised identities. Here she shares with us a few thoughts regarding her art and creative roots.
When did you first discover the talent for writing?
It was when I was very young, almost a girl. But my earliest experience in that respect was with my dad, who actually considered it as unserios, and wanted for me to turn to something else, more economic and usefull. As a result, I stopped writing for a long time.
What poetry means to you personally?
I again started writing poetry as a middle aged woman. It was an experience that broke through all my inner fears and unsecurities. I liberated myself through poetry, even though I had already published two novels before that. Today I can say that poetry made me into a woman.
How would you describe your poetry?
My poetry is very deeply intimate but also with a very strong social engagement, because I am daily engaged in a struggle with prejudices, such as cultural differences, with lack of justice, freedom of speech, equality of voices of men and women.
As one of the most engaged Montengrin poets and unique poetry performers, how do you see the modern poetry scene in Montengro?
The modern scene in Montenegro, is practically inexistent. One reason for that is because we still have a strong community of male writers, as well as national communities that supports traditional forms with motives from national amd epic history. We also don’t really have a scene for alternative performances, because we are still a traditional patriarchal society.
Do you consider yourself a feminist writer and how do you see the position of women in literature today?
In my country I am a feminist writer, simply because of all my fight for equality. As I gave already noted, it is not only a struggle for female voices but also for all kinds of different and marginalized representations, including cultural, LGBTQ and national minorities. Position of women in world literature today is much different than in my country. Out there there are lots of strong female voices that finally break through falocentric form.
Is your poetry influenced by some particular poet, social or literary movement?
As a young woman, because of the civil war that left a deep influence on my personality. I started to read revolutionary poets, such as Majakovski, Marina Cvetajeva and Lorka. Most probably it was that impact that shaped my own voice in the latter time.
How has the pandemic affected you as a woman and poet and how do you think it impacted globally other writers and poets. Do you think we live in a new era?
The pandemic created a new situation, more virtual than it already has been, with all the internet communication, such as poetry events on zoom application, skype readings and so on. I find that aspect positive. Thanks to new technology we can connect with poets from all the world. However, live performances, poetry festivals cannot be replaced by technology. Connectiones and interactions with the audience is something that we badly need. I hope that it is just a phase, and not some permanent state.
How do you see your future writing career?
I will continue to write and act as a freelancer, for sure. Especially because of the prejudices in my country, that I was telling you about. And as long as it is necessary, until the voices of women become equal to the voices of men.
By: Ana Stjelja
In addition to the interview, Enfant Sauvage is proud to present you a poem, which Katarina Sarić performed at this year's "Speaking Up", a festival of Versopolis & Creative Europe, where she represented "Alia Mundi", Organization for cultural diversity. The poem was translated by Marija Krivokapić.
When stretched under the bark
whose womb is torn up by her sons
and the fear has gone from
I will collect the hem of the pleated dress
and will sew in a new heart
to suit a solemn affair
as sewed on
this face and this picture
sick from anemia
-I need air
the cast of mining shaft
is recast in the last
cycle of alchemy
dried out tears from the cradle
When the sea spits out
the last bones of the domesticates fossils
I will be sitting on the beach
plucking stones from stones
positioned as the postcard girl
in that cliche
and unavoidably dreamy
with that lovelock over the brow
I will pose in the glory of innocence
of the new birth
while, actually, I would want to scream
and destroy the frame
-I need air
under Heracles' stairways
the Greek tragedians who glorified patricide
justified it as ignorance
dead is my shame
and no-one came
to its burrial
it went straight to spam
When she gets up and streches
in the last cry
of epic storm
who stays breathless
When father and brother and friend are gone
I will come back to that old place of ours
under the Iron bridge
I will cut out from cement the names long engraved
take them away
I will become the ring of time
that closes the circle
away from the land of our ancestors