Vanja Izova-Veleva – born in 1972. Graduated at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje, department of Macedonian literature with South Slavic literature. Has earned her masters at the Institute for Macedonian Literature, earning a degree in Literary Culturology. Winner of the following awards: first place at the “Linden holiday” manifestation, third place from the International Society of Poets (2005), second place at the 25th Karaman Meetings, award in the Garavi sokak book at the 19th International Poetry Meeting in 2008, as well as the municipal award Holy Fifteen Tiberiopolis Martyrs in Strumica, for notable contributions in the field of culture and education in 2015. Her poetry has been published in many magazines in different languages. Her poems have been part of numerous poetic and prose books, and she is the author of the following works: A valve in the existence 1993, Death of the fish 1995, Stitched up throats1997, Dust does not speak 2002, Cry in a box 2007, Upside-down abyss 2010, Several legends about Struma 2011 (prose), Borrowed dust 2013, Woman and stone 2013 (prose), Almost2015 (Selected poetry) and Tightrope 2017. Member of the Macedonian Writers’ Association since 1995, member of the international poetry association, member of the presidium of the WMA 2000-2002 and 2002-2004, member of the jury for the Аco Shopov Award and member of the jury for the Aco Karamanov Award.
I am a traveler with a suitcase full of smoke
I carry it like a house to guard my home.
I open it from time to time
to check on my friends packed ever so
I am a traveler with a suitcase full of red smoke
I spread the memories and expectations all around
like little pieces and leave lanterns
to keep the recollection alight
to keep the memory alight.
I am a motionless traveler
stuck in the past
weary by the word
chasing after the thought.
My suitcase swallows the smoke
and cleans the inside
that I might see clearly
that I might understand easily.
My little house is large
with a wide-open gate and a concealed window
even the uninvited are welcomed
even the ones without a suitcase.