5Q Interview: Vladimir Martinovski (Macedonia) 2017 IWP resident

The Writing University conducts is a series of interviews with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. We sit down (sometimes remotely) with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.

Today we are speaking with Vladimir Martinovski Владимир Мартиновски, a fiction writer, poet, critic and translator from Macedonia.

1. Do you have a plan or project in mind for your time at the residency? 

I have lot of work to do at the residency. I currently work on two manuscripts (essayistic book on poetry and my first short stories book) and one translation. I plan to finish the essay book and the translation in the next two mounts. I'll also work on new short stories that I plan to finish by the end of this year. On the other hand, I brought two manuscripts in English: a selection of essays on Comparative Literature and a selection of my poems translated into English. I will be very happy to find a publisher or new readers in USA. 

2. What does your daily practice look like for your writing? Do you have a certain time when you write? Any specific routine?

I like writing because it’s unpredictable. Sometimes I struggle for weeks just to start some essay, sometimes I write a whole book of poetry in just of couple of days. As far as the “routine” of writing is concerned, it depends of the type of text or book that I'm working on: I usually write nonfiction in the morning, stories and poetry in the afternoon and at night. When I write fiction I often work on series of related texts (poems or short stories). This residency is also a great opportunity for me to meet excellent writers and to exchange experience on writing and reading.  

3. What are you currently reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure? 

During the academic year I read for research and for my lessons. I must admit that I’m very lucky because for me reading for research is always reading for pleasure. In the last couple of weeks I read short stories from different literary traditions, because I would like to compare some narrative strategies related to visual arts. Generally, the relations between literature and other arts (painting and music) is my major research field. I’m also looking forward to read the literary works of the IWP participants.  

4. What is one thing the readers and writers of Iowa City should know about you and your work?

In my works I try to combine my ideas, concepts and experience from life, my research work and music. In my poetry I often use rhythmical patterns from the Macedonian and Balkan traditional music. In this occasion, I would like to share with you two concert performances based on my poetry and music:

5. Tell us a bit about where you are from - what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?

I came from Republic of Macedonia, a small but beautiful country with reach cultural heritage and wonderful nature, like the Lake of Ohrid or Shara Mountain. I’m very proud to be able to create literary works on the same language as my favorite poets: Koco Racin, Blaze Koneski and Vlada Urosevic. I also hope that the organizers, the participants and the audience of International Writing Program will come and visit my country. Our main literary event is the international poetry festival Struga Poetry Evenings, one of the oldest poetry festivals in the world. I'm very happy that this year laureate of the Golden Wreath is Charles Simic, a poet that I admire a lot.

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Thank you, Vladimir

This Friday, September 1st, Vladimir will be reading with Yuriy Serebryanskiy (a fiction writer and journalist from Kazakhstan) at the Shambaugh House at 5pm. Join us!

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