Maja Herman Sekulić

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Maja Herman Sekulić
Maya Herman0023.JPG
Born (1949-02-17) February 17, 1949 (age 70)
Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia
OccupationPoet, writer and translator

Maja Herman Sekulić (aka Maya Herman) (born February 17, 1949)[1] is an internationally published poet, novelist, essayist and translator.


Maja Herman Sekulić was born in Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia, where she received her M.A. in World Literature from the University of Belgrade in 1977, and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton, New Jersey, in 1986. Besides Yugoslavia and the United States, and was schooled in England, Italy and France. She spent 1990-91 in Germany, and 1992-7 in the Far East. Nowadays, she shares her time between New York City and Belgrade. She is a member of the Serbian Literary Association, Serbian Literary Society,[2] Serbian and the American P.E.N. Center, Academy of American Poets and the International Federation of Journalists (FIJ).

She taught at Princeton University (1985-9), and Rutgers University (1982-4), and was guest-lecturer at Harvard, Columbia, Iowa, and other universities. Besides academic work she edited journal Night in New York from 1989–90, and is a regular contributor to, Belgrade dailies Politika and Blic, "Cultural Journal" on Serbian TV (RTS) and other media and literary journals.


She has published 14 books: 5 collections of poems, 4 novels, 2 books of criticism, 2 books of essays, and 1 biography in addition to a number of reviews and prefaces, as well as 12 books of major translations, both in Serbian and English, and critical editions of books by world renown authors and Nobel prize winners, whose names and notions had substantially enriched Serbian literary theory and culture and built bridges between cultures.

Her works have been translated into a number of foreign languages.

In 2013 and 2012 a number of her poems were published bilingually in English and French in Recours au Poeme, Paris,[3][4] where her poetry was presented in "Focus" by Genealogy of the Twentieth Century. Her e-book of selected and new Poems selected by the French poet Matthieu Baumier under the title DE LA TERRE DE DÉSOLATION / OUT OF THE WASTE LAND E-books published by French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi in July 2015.

Poetry collections[edit]

She started publishing poetry since 1981, first in Knjizevne novine, literary magazine, then in other distinguished publications.

  • Kamerografija, (Camerography), 1990. ISBN 86-81277-53-7 COBISS 1140492
  • Kartografija… ( Cartography), 1992. COBISS 28256519
  • Iz muzeja lutanja ( Out of the Museum of Wondering), 1997. ISBN 86-363-0384-2 COBISS 56882700
  • Iz puste zemlje/Out of the Waste Land, Paideia, 1998. It came out as a bilingual English & Serbian edition, as a tribute to and parody of T.S.Eliot and as a lament over the Balkan destiny, with cover and illustrations by Mirko Ilic.[5] ISBN 86-82499-53-3 COBISS 61165068
  • Her e-book of selected and new poems selected by the French poet Matthieu Baumier DE LA TERRE DE DÉSOLATION / OUT OF THE WASTE LAND, French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi, July 2015.AILLEUR(S) © Recours au Poème éditeurs pour cette édition numérique © Maja Herman Sekulić © Elizabeth Brunazzi pour cette traduction. Couverture : Sophie Cure Illustrations et développement : studio Ultragramme Dépôt légal : Juillet 2015 ISBN 978-2-37226-049-7
  • Lady of Vincha/ Gospa od Vinče, poem, izdavač Pešić i sinovi, 2017 ISBN 978-86-7540-282-4 COBISS.SR-ID 237510668

Her poems were published in English in such prominent American periodicals as The Paris Review and Confrontation; were included in anthologies in English such North Dakota Quarterly, "Out of Yugoslavia" anthology,1993; The Paris Review, New York, 1992 translated by Mark Strand, American Poet Laureate; The Printed Matter, Tokyo, 1992; in German, anthology Das Buch der Rånder Lyrik, Wieser Verlag,1995; bilingual selections in French and English at Recours au Poeme, Paris, 2012 and 2013 and in a book 2015.


  • Kralj svile, 2000, 2001. COBISS 102604300 (Maya Herman, "In Search of the Silk King", a novel, Xlibris, 2005, ISBN 1-4134-9118-9, Library of Congress 2005902697)
  • Slike kojih nema, (Pictures not taken), 2009.
  • U potrazi za Lolitom (Looking for Lolita), 2011. (new, changed "female" edition of the novel Slike kojih nema), English translation in preparation for publication COBISS 186611212
  • Ma Belle, prva americka dama Srbije, 2015, Sluzbeni glasnik, Beograd ISBN 978-86-519-1965-0
  • "Ma Belle, The First American Lady of Serbia, Translated by Persida Boskovic, Geopoetika Publishing, ISBN 978-86-6145-252-9 COBISS.SR-ID 227815180


It was published in English under pen name Maya Herman,The Jade Window (D.K Book House, Bangkok, London, 1998) ISBN 978-974-7457-03-2; Publisher Code: B0003/1998-2,000 The jade window: images from Southeast Asia

  • Digitalna galaksija (Digital Galaxy), 2011. ISBN 978-86-7694-343-2 COBISS 186488332 a book of micro essays about the transition of our world from print to digital media.
  • "Who was Nikola Tesla? The Genius who gave us Light" Zavod za udzbenike 2015, Belgrade, (ISBN 978-8617192974).

Other publications[edit]

Besides the books for adults, Maja Herman Sekulić published a book for children Slon Lala Tulipan, ili kako je otkriven porcelan with illustrations by Dobrosav Bob Zivkovic (Decje novine), and for English and German publications of Elephant Lala the Tulipe, or how porcelain was invented with illustrations by Sibille Schwarz; she also published a poem for children in English Lazar, the Lizard in a Blizzard (Waldo Tribune, Southampton, 2000). She wrote an introduction for a book of photography (Black Horse Book, New York) by the famous Italian photographer Marco Glaviano. She was a contributor to another book of photography Skin by distinguished French photographer Laurent Elie Badessi (Edition Stemmle, Zurich–New York). She closely collaborated with Italian theatre director Paolo Magelli on a dramaturgy of the longest running production in Belgrade Drama Theater of Harold and Maude, and did a Serbian adaptation of the life of the famous British author, Dame Rebbeca West, which is awaiting its Serbian theatre production.


Maja Herman Sekulić is actively involved on introducing Serbian literature to English speaking world and building bridges between cultures with her excellent literary translations in both English and Serbian. She was invited to be the editor of an Anthology of Modern Yugoslav Poetry (Micromegas, Iowa, 1985); her translations of Serbian poets were included in five poetry anthologies in English of which the most important is Serbian Poetry from Beginnings to the Present, edited by Holton and Mihailovich, (Yale, New Haven, 1988). As a superb connoisseur of Anglo-American and world literature, she published many reviews, essays, prefaces and edited and translated a number of books by classics as well as younger authors such as Bret Easton EllisThe Rules of Attraction in two editions (BIGZ, 1989, Laguna, 2009). Since 1976, when as a student, she wrote her first introduction and made a selection of poems by Jure Kaštelan (Rad, Beograd) to this day she translated books of two Nobel prize winners such as Saul Bellow (Dangling Man) and Patrick White (Selected Stories) and she edited and translated into Serbian the first major collection of Wallace Stevens' poems (Pesme našeg podneblja, Matica Srpska/Pismo, 1995). With her translations and essays she was often the first to introduce new names and critical notions in Serbian language and culture. Among such contributions are her translation and postface to Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence (Antiteticka kritika,); her selection, preface and translations of Northrop Frye's essays under title Myth and Structure (Mit I struktura, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1991) ISBN 978-86-01-03087-9, as well as her translation and postface to Raymond Carver's Cathedral(Katedrala, Narodna Knjiga, Beograd).

Fellowships and Grants[edit]

For her work she was awarded a number of exceptionally prestigious fellowships and grants such as Princeton University Fellowship (5 years), Fulbright Visiting Scholar (twice) and American Association of University Women (AAUW) Grant. Nominations for NIN award 2016; for Zensko pismo 2000 and 2011. /nominees/ma-belle/ it is a great #honor to be nominated by the #Belgrade #city #library and quite a big #deal to be then chosen among 150 to be one of 48 foreign authors and picked for #nomination out of over million novels published last year in the world. My special thrill as a true #Joycean is that it is #Dublin award — at Bibliothèque municipale de Belgrade.


External links[edit]