Directions for Use (Paperback)
Zephyr Press, 9781938890147, 144pp.
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Ana Ristovic's erotic, wry, feminist poems concern daily routines (washing laundry, doing crossword puzzles). In her writing she explores inner and outer worlds, sex, and relationships. This bilingual (Serbian and English) selection unveils a rich embroidery of frank sexuality and lyric images.
Born in 1972 in Belgrade, Ristovic studied comparative literature at the philological faculty there. She has published six books of poetry and won the Hubert Burda Prize for young Eastern European poets in 2005. She also has translated eighteen books of poetry and prose from Slovenian into Serbian, and her own poems have been translated into almost a dozen languages.
On the surface, Ristovic's poems read smoothly and almost easily as she wittily and winkingly banters about polishing her nails or doing laundry as she opens the door to her New Belgrade world on the Danube quay. Before one knows, one is seduced into a light-hearted conversation about daily chores and salad-making as " o]utside, the blizzard howls, with ease and without a care, buries our mutual threshold."
In 2014, the Guardian announced Southbank Centre's list of the fifty greatest love poems of the past fifty years. On that list, Ana Ristovic's "Circling Zero" appeared together with the likes of Margaret Atwood, Frank O'Hara, and Chinua Achebe, among many other luminous giants of literature.
Steven Teref's and Maja Teref's translations of Ana Ristovic's poems have appeared in Asymptote, Conduit, and Rhino (winner of their 2012 Translation Prize). Their translation of her poem "Circling Zero" was published in the international poetry anthology The World Record (Bloodaxe Books).