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Dejan Stojanović

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Dejan Stojanović
Stojanović in Chicago in 2003
Stojanović in Chicago in 2003
Born (1959-03-11) 11 March 1959 (age 65)
LanguageSerbian, English

Literature portal

Dejan Stojanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Дејан Стојановић, pronounced [dějan stojǎːnoʋitɕ]; born 11 March 1959) is a Serbian American poet, writer, essayist,[1][2] philosopher, businessman, and former journalist. His poetry is characterized by a recognizable system of thought,[3] and poetic devices that border on philosophy and a highly reflective overall tone.[4] According to critic Petar V. Arbutina, "Stojanović belongs to the small and autochthonous circle of poets who have been the main creative and artistic force of the Serbian poetry in the last several decades."[5]

Dejan Stojanović, Belgrade, 1981

Early life


Dejan Stojanović was born on 11 March 1959 in Peć, Autonomous District of Kosovo and Metohija, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia. In 1972, he moved with his family to Sutomore, near Bar, Montenegro, where he completed his secondary education. He attended the University of Pristina at Kosovo. While he was predominantly interested in philosophy and the arts during his youth, he earned a degree in law.[6]

Writing background




He began to write poetry in the late seventies[7] and kept his work private for three to four years, after which he published his poems in literary magazines in the former Yugoslavia. Serbian magazines in which his work was published include Stremljenja (English translation: Trends) and Jedinstvo (English translation: Unity) in Priština, and Gradina in Niš.[8][9] By 1983, he became a member of a literary club (Karagač) in his hometown of Peć. During this time, he was named secretary and later promoted to president of the club.[10] In this role, he conducted interviews with local artists from Kosovo.

In his early adulthood, Stojanović developed a philosophical system of ideas that dealt primarily with metaphysical questions and the structure of the universe. He wrote several hundred pages in his notebooks exploring these ideas, along with essays on language and literature. In 1999, shortly after the war in Kosovo ended, these manuscripts, along with his library of more than a thousand books (carefully chosen for years), were lost due to a fire.[11] His books, along with his manuscripts, were held temporarily in his brother's office in the center of downtown Peć.



In 1990, Stojanović established a private publishing firm known as Metoh (English translation: the church's land).[12] While the organization was located in Peć, the firm planned to publish a literary magazine in Kosovo. The firm's staff included writers from Belgrade, one of whom was Alek Vukadinović, a Serbian poet who supported Stojanović's plan to publish a magazine. While Stojanović's first book of poetry, Krugovanje (English translation: Circling) was ready for publication in 1983, it was not published until 1993. During those ten years, several poems that were initially planned for inclusion in the book had been replaced by newer poems, which had been written between 1983 and 1986. The last poem in the book had actually been written in Chicago, in 1991.[13]


Saul Bellow and Dejan Stojanović, University of Chicago, 1992

In early 1990, Stojanović joined the writing staff of Serbian magazine, Pogledi (English translation: Viewpoints). At this time, he began a series of interviews with several Serbian writers in Belgrade, including Momo Kapor, Alek Vukadinović, and Nikola Milošević.[14] During his second visit to Paris in May and June 1990, he interviewed[15] Ljuba Popović, Petar Omčikus, Miloš Šobajić, and Jacques Claude Villard.[16] In December 1990, he went to the US as a foreign correspondent, planning to stay six months to a year.[17] During this time, he conducted interviews with prominent American writers, including Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, Charles Simic, and Steve Tesich. He did not return to his homeland in summer 1991, when the Yugoslav Wars started in the former Yugoslavia, and has been living in Chicago since 1990.[16] In honor of his series of interviews published in Conversations, published in 1999 by Književna reč of Belgrade, Stojanović received the Rastko Petrović Award, presented by the Association of Writers of Serbia.[18][19]


Dejan Stojanović, Chicago, 1991

Stojanović’s poetry collections are characterized by sequences of compact, dense poems, simple yet complex in carefully organized overall structure, and that is why some more visibly than others appear as long poems. This is especially characteristic of the books, The Sign and its Children,[20] The Shape,[21] and The Creator[22] (Znak I njegova deca,[23][24] Oblik,[25] Tvoritelj[26] ), in which, with a relatively small number of words repeated in different contexts, Stojanović built his own poetic cosmogony. For that reason, writer and critic, David Kecman, described him as a cosmosophist.[27]

In his poems, he covers the smallest and the largest topics with equal attention, often juxtaposing them to the level of paradox and absurdity, gradually building new perspectives and meanings that are not only poetic either in origin or in purpose. Some themes and preoccupations, be they stones or galaxies, are present in all of his books and it can be said that his poetry books are, in themselves, long poems and that all of them serve as ingredients of a hyper-poetry book that is still in the making.

He used many poetic forms never used before in Serbian poetry and also created some new forms. "If elegance is represented by simplicity, then these are some of the most elegant verses imaginable,"[28] Branko Mikasinovich stated.

Published works


The majority of Stojanović's poems, initially written in Serbian and compiled into six volumes of poetry, have been translated into English [29][30][31][32][33] and a selection of his poems has been translated into French.[34]

  • (1993) Krugovanje: 1978–1987; English translation: Circling: 1978–1987, Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha University, Belgrade
  • (1998) Krugovanje – 2nd edition; English translation: Circling: 1978–1987 – 2nd edition, Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha University, Belgrade
  • (1999) Sunce sebe gleda; English translation: The Sun Watches the Sun, Pub: Književna reč, Belgrade
  • (2000) Znak i njegova deca; English translation: The Sign and its Children, Pub: Prosveta, Belgrade
  • (2000) Oblik; English translation: The Shape, Pub: Gramatik, Podgorica; republished in English by New Avenue Books (14 July 2012)
  • (2000) Tvoritelj, English translation: The Creator, Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha University, Belgrade
  • (2000) Krugovanje – 3rd edition; English translation: Circling – 3rd edition, Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha University, Belgrade
  • (2007) Ples vremena; English translation: Dance of Time, Pub: Konras, Belgrade
English translations from Serbian
  • (21 May 2012) Circling: 1978-1987, Pub: New Avenue Books. ASIN B0089VHNCA (ebook)
  • (13 June 2012) The Sun Watches the Sun, Pub: New Avenue Books. ASIN B008BCY988 (ebook)
  • (17 June 2012) The Creator, Pub: New Avenue Books. ASIN B008CCH646 (ebook)
  • (11 July 2012) The Sign and Its Children, Pub: New Avenue Books. ASIN B008KFP1WY (ebook)
  • (14 July 2012) The Shape, Pub: New Avenue Books. ASIN B008LGAFUK (ebook)


  1. ^ Stojanović, Dejan (October 2008), "Idealni stvaralac i idealno delo – Danteova Komedija," Zenit, magazin za umetnost, nauku i filosofiju; tema broja: Dela koja volimo, broj 9, pp. 89-100. "Dante i Komedija". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Stojanović, Dejan (2009); "Poezija," Zenit; Lang: Serbian; pp. 96-98; COBISS.SR-ID 158347532; (TI=Zenit : magazin za književnost, umetnost i filosofiju ISSN 1452-5534 SG=p 27828.- God. 4, br. 10 (2009), ppr. 96-98)
  3. ^ Šutić, Miloslav (July 2001). "Significant Achievements of the Short Poetic Form" (Serbian: "Značajni dometi kratke lirske forme," Književna reč, broj 515, jul 2001, Beograd; Odzivi, str. 67, Konras, biblioteka Groš, 2002, Beograd)
  4. ^ Vukadinović, Alek (1993). "Poetic Circles of Dejan Stojanović," Circling: 1978-1987, Afterword, p. 69, Belgrade (Serbian: "Pesnički krugovi Dejana Stojanovića," Krugovanje: 1978-1987, Pogovor, str. 69)
  5. ^ Arbutina, Petar V. (2000). The Sign and Its Children, back cover, Prosveta, Belgrade, 2000 (Znak i njegova deca, Prosveta, Beograd)
  6. ^ Stojanović, Dejan (2000). Krugovanje, English translation: Circling, Beleška o autoru (English translation: About the author), Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha, Belgrade, page 83.
  7. ^ Stojanović, Dejan (1993). Poems written between 1978 and 1987; Krugovanje: 1978–1987; English translation: Circling: 1978–1987, Pub: Narodna knjiga, Alpha, Belgrade; Series: Contemporary Yugoslavian writers.
  8. ^ Stojanović, Dejan. "Svetionik." Edition/Format: Poetry: Serbian. Publication: Jedinstvo, 5, 332, str. 11. Notes: Ćirilicom. Description: str. 11. Svetionik. WorldCat. ISSN 0021-5775. OCLC 440922251. {{cite book}}: |newspaper= ignored (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Stojanović, Dejan. Publication: Gradina, 26, 2-3, str. 136-137. Notes: Ćirilicom. Description: str. 136-137. Contents: Sadrži pesme: "Novi vandali;" "Daleki sluh;" "Reminiscencija;" "Paklena zver;" "Rastrojstvo.". "Pesme". Gradina. WorldCat. ISSN 0436-2616. OCLC 443502273.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ One of the founding members of the club, participating in all activities, was poet Alija Dzogović and among other members was poet Radenko Bjelanović.
  11. ^ Stojanović, Dejan (2007). Ples vremena, Napomene u vezi s knjigom prvom, str. 113, Konras, Series: Biblioteka Beli vuk -- knj. 7, Beograd (English translation: Dance of Time, Notes, p. 113, Konras, Belgrade, 2007). "Ples vremena". Open Library. Retrieved 2013-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ What means Kosovo; what Metohia?. "Metoh". Kosovo.net. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  13. ^ "Melodija najstarijeg zavicaja," Ciklus: "Mrak čeka," p. 67, Krugovanje: 1978-1987 (1993); English translation: "A Melody of the Premival Homeland," Sequence: "Darkness Is Waiting," Circling: 1978-1987
  14. ^ Petrov, Aleksandar (December 2000), "A Poet before the Open Door," American Srbobran, Literary Supplement ("Pesnik pred otvorenim vratima," Amerikanski Srbobran, Književni dodatak)
  15. ^ Popović, Aleksandar I. (1999), Razgovori (Conversations, book jacket, 1999)
  16. ^ a b Dejan Stojanović. "Razgovori". Open Library. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  17. ^ Stojanović has been living in Chicago since 1990. In the nineties, as a foreign correspondent, he published all his interviews in a Serbian weekly magazine, Views (Pogledi). At its peak in 1990, the magazine was selling up to 200,000 copies.
  18. ^ Vidaković, Dušan (November–December 2000). "The Art of Interviewing," Reality ("Umetnost intervjuisanja," Zbilja, broj 62/63, Novembar/Decembar 2000)
  19. ^ Petrov, Aleksandar (December 2000), "A Poet before the Open Door," American Srbobran, Literary Supplement. This article deals with five books of poetry written by Stojanović and also with the book of selected interviews and articles, Conversations.
  20. ^ Mirković, Miroslav Buca (10, 7, 2000). "Prkos tamnim silama," Ilustrovana politika, rubrika Čitati ili ne čitati, broj 2177, 7. X 2000.
  21. ^ Urošević, Draginja (2001). Borba, Beograd
  22. ^ Janković, Oliver (28, 29, 30. 11. 2000). "Belina sveta i papira," Borba, Beograd
  23. ^ Vitošević, Nevena (February 2001). "Simfonija znakova ili skladna porodica," Knjizevna reč, broj 513, februar 2001, Beograd
  24. ^ Dejan Stojanović. "Znak i njegova deca". Open Library. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  25. ^ Dejan Stojanović. "Oblik". Open Library. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  26. ^ Dejan Stojanović. "Tvoritelj". Open Library. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  27. ^ Kecman, David Dako (March 15, 2001). "Znakovi smisla," Borba, Beograd
  28. ^ Mikasinovich, Branko ( Spring 2000). World Literature Today, (Abb: WLT), A Literary Quarterly of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, Volume 74, Number 2, Page 442
  29. ^ Circling: 1978-1987, 56 poems, six sequences: "Recircling," "Light Bugs," "A Conversation with Atoms," "A Grain," "A Warden with No Keys," "Darkness is Waiting."
  30. ^ The Sun Watches the Sun, 118 poems, eleven sequences: "Sky-Motion," "God and Circles," "Skywalking," "Forgotten Place," "A Stone and a Word," "What After," "A Game," "Is It Possible to Write a Poem," "Hopelessness," "Sound of the Silence," "Beethoven and Death."
  31. ^ The Sign and Its Children, 43 poems, five sequences: "The Supreme Sign," "The Sign and Nothing," Sign Face," "A Word and a Sign," "The Sign and the Dream."
  32. ^ The Shape, 46 poems, six sequences: "Home of the Shape," "Happiness of Atoms," "Bells," "Pit of the Stone," "Wonders," "Big Chamber."
  33. ^ The Creator, 63 poems, nine sequences: "The Light-Bearer," "Forest of the Universe," "A Talk of Fire," "The Whisper of Eternity," "A Smiling Sky," "Thought and Flight," "Same and Change," "The Dream Chamber," "Nostalgic Elements."
  34. ^ Stojanović, Dejan. Selected poems in French. Translated by Boris Lazić. "Poetry in French". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2013-04-11.