Barbara Korun

Idiorrhythmy

Idiorrhythmy is the seventh poetry collection of renowned Slovenian poetess Barbara Korun. It consists of three sections – Idiorrhythmy, Foundlings and Echolacation, each of them investigating it’s own path to synchronizing the outer and the inner world and ways of being fully present in this world. The title is taken from a series of Roland Barthes’ lectures in the late 1970s, and it indicates a unique, personal, singular “calibration” that makes coexistence with others possible at all. The poet finds that kind of accordance in her idiorhythmic toponym – dreams, in which she recognizes a fine mental calibration that liberates her for spontaneous, unhindered interaction with the world. This is shown in the second set, in Foundlings: in each of these three-line poems, a single character steps into the foreground, but its poetic presentation allows it to preserve autonomy – grass blades, a small puddle, dry branchlets, become the subjects in their own right; as equal speakers, they allow themselves to be met, discovered and lovingly disclosed. The third set is entitled Echolocation. By using this term, the author wants to emphasise the effort to bypass the power structures that are inscribed in everyday, standardized language and to find her own answer, her own balance between what language “forces us to say” or “allows us to say”, and what is beyond language mind. More important than individual ideas, however, is the speaker’s attitude, which ranges from the “instant point of balance” in the first poem to the “inaudible voice” that she breathes in the last one. The book was nominated for The Jenko Award by the Slovene Writers’ Association for the best poetry collection published in the previous two years; it is also included in the selection intended for the international audience, “10 Books from Slovenia” (Center for Slovenian Literature), organized by the Society of Slovenian Literary Critics (February 2022)

Barbara Korun

Barbara Korun (1963) is an acknowledged Slovenian poetess, social activist and a great support of Slovenian women poets. Her first collection Ostrina miline (The Edge of Grace, 1999) received the National Book Fair Award for best début collection, and the fourth Pridem takoj (I’ll Be Right Back, 2011) won her the Veronika Award (for best poetry collection of that year) and the Zlata Ptica Award (for outstanding achievements in literature). Her works have been published in fifteen independent poetry collections and fifty anthologies in more than twenty languages. She also received two international awards for poetry in Italy. Sice 2013, she has been organising regular monthly readings of works by Slovene women poets. In 2020, she received the Mira Award, which is awarded by the women’s committee of the Slovenian Center for PEN to Slovenian women creators for outstanding achievements in the field of literary creation and reflection on literature and culture, as well as for an overall personal integrity.

2021
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Gašper Malej
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Excerpts in English available