Ugly Duckling Presse

Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers
Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers

Lidija Dimkovska

translated by Ljubica Arsovska, Peggy Reid

Poetry $12
Buy"The truth is she's unstoppable and will not be ignored."
Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers is the first translation into English of one of Macedonia's most important young writers, the author of several books of poetry and an award-winning debut novel. Printed in a facing-page bilingual edition, this collection of poems brings Dimkovska's fiery page-performances into view for the English-speaking audience. Eastern European Poets Series #12.

About the Author

Lidija Dimkovska
Lidija Dimkovska was born in 1971 in Skopje, Macedonia. She attained a doctoral degree in Romanian Literature in Bucharest. Her prizewinning debut Progenies of the East was published in 1992, and she has since written three more books of poetry (Fire of Letters, Bitten Nails, and Nobel vs. Nobel). In 2004 she published her novel, Hidden Camera. She lives and works in Ljubljana. 

About the Translator

Ljubica Arsovska is editor-in-chief of the quarterly Kulturen Zivot, the leading cultural magazine in Macedonia, and translator of numerous books, plays, and poems.
Peggy Reid is a translator of Macedonian poetry and prose. In 1973 she and her husband, Graham W. Reid, received the Struga Poetry Festival Translation Prize for their translation of The Sirdar, by Grigor Prlicev. In 1994 she received the Macedonian Literary Translators' Society Award; she has also won first prize at the Avon Poetry Festival, UK, twice for her own poetry. She teaches English at the University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje.

Advance Praise

The rock of translation is broken into stones, lined up and moved around to form a solid multitextured dwelling that Lidija Dimkovska then smashes apart with the authority of pure existentialist 21st century hard-earned riotous despair. Long live the stone-throwers! They make poetry much greater than the sum of its parts.—Fanny Howe
With the direst laugh-out-loud sense of humor around, Dimkovska’s swaggering and prosey poems take on the sorrows of love ('tell me why you left me and married my sister'), God ('who does not exist . . . I’m afraid of his great eyes'), and anxiety ('I am not afraid of Virginia Woolf, / I fear Lidija Dimkovska. Have you heard of her?')—and that’s in just one poem. This first English translation...culls from four books previously published in her home country of Macedonia, and her translators, Arsovka and Reid, have rendered the poet’s irony and insistence with a smirk discernable from a mile away. [...] Dimkovska treats feminism, suicidal thoughts, the Russian Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, and sex ('Oh, the monster knows that my sex is my cellar') with the same stunning capacity to transform the ridiculous into something poignant and utterly precise […] The results are transcendent, dizzying, and not to be missed.—Craig Morgan Teicher
[...] Dimkovska skillfully manages vocal / tonal shifting, humor, thematic texturing, and intimate gestures to engage the reader. [...] Dimkovska’s method of 'metaonomatopoeia' combines Levertov’s sense of capturing the feeling, tone, and texture of experience, and Marinetti’s idea of embodying complex and the mysterious motions of consciousness to create a 'psychic onomatopoetic harmony' (Dimkovska’s 'metachirp'). This difficult compositional method allows the reader to 'read read read.' [...] A dynamic, poetic voice streams through this collection in surprising and unexpected ways. The reader never knows if the poet will provide us with hypotactic grounding, or lift our perception across a paratactic paradise.—CRAIG PEREZ