Marija Dejanović

Croatia

Marija Dejanović was born in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1992. She grew up in Croatia, Sisak, and currently lives in Zagreb. In 2018 her manuscript "Ethics of Bread and Horses" ("Etika kruha i konja") won "Goran" award for young poets and “Kvirin” award for young poets. Manuscript "Heartwood" ("Središnji god") won "Zdravko Pucak" award. Both books were published in the same year and well received by critics, readers and media. Her poems and literary reviews were published in magazines, anthologies and internet portals in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Greece, Italy and Romania. She presented her poetry at festivals in Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Greece. Dejanović likes to experiment, so she performs her poetry with musicians. Most recent collaborations are with Sara Renar and Vedran Peternel on projects "In Temporary Residence With Humans" (U privremenom smještaju kod ljudi) and “Flood” (poplava).

She is a member of Croatian Writers’ Association. She is currently finishing graduate studies in literature theory and pedagogy.


Marija Dejanović belongs to the youngest generation of the poets emerging on the Croatian poetry scene. Born in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1992, she grew up in Sisak, Croatia and currently lives in Zagreb. In 2018 her manuscript Ethics of Bread and Horses (Etika kruha i konja) won "Goran for the young poets" award and then, when published as a book, “Kvirin” award for young poets. Manuscript titled Heartwood (Središnji god) won "Zdravko Pucak" award. Both books were published in the same year and resonated well with the critics, readers and media. Her poems and literary reviews were published in magazines, anthologies and internet portals in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Greece, Italy and Romania. She presented her poetry at festivals in Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Greece. Dejanović likes to experiment, so she performs her poetry with musicians. Most recent collaborations was the one with musicians and producers Sara Renar and Vedran Peternel on projects In Temporary Residence with Humans (U privremenom smještaju kod ljudi) and Flood (poplava). 

 

In the afterword to Heartwood, the critic Krešimir Bagić writes that Dejanović is "an author that demonstrates extraordinary talent" and that "her writing style has already been developed and recognizable when she debuted". In the preface to Ethics of Bread and Horses, Ivan Šamija noticed "the creation of the language of her own, semantic system and a logical structure that can be seen as forms of resistance and emancipation" and praised "originality and wondrous beauty of images" in her poems. Croatian poet Ivica Prtenjača called her books "valuable and beautiful", and her "a poetic comet" in Elle magazine's selection of emerging talents. Poet, editor and publicist Branko Čegec called Dejanović one of the "two young poets that have absolutely dominated poetry-related media" in Tema magazine. 

            In Ethics of Bread and Horses Dejanović lays out a branched out symbolical networks, working with archetypes, mythological figures and para-traditional invocations to create a thick, tense fabric with complex and vivid patterns. “Ethics of Bread and Horses stands inside Croatian poetry field as a convincing sign of Difference, whether we read it as an allegory of human experience, as critique of patriarchal narrative of female Otherness […], as […] a poetic myth about origin, or as an example of pure aesthetical larpurlartism, we have to admit that Ethics of Bread and Horses is one of the best debut poetry books in the last few years, which, if we follow the poetic production, is not a small achievement. It is really an extraordinary project with focus on a concept that is rarely seen […] I am convinced that it is hard to talk about contemporary Croatian poetry, without talking about Marija Dejanović’s poetry”, wrote the poet and critic Davor Ivankovac. Heartwood, the book that followed, loosened the grid, opened the previously set, closed system, and focused more to the individual poems, then to the framing structure.

The performance is a fair share of the poet’s artistic interests: Dejanović has worked with slam-poets, and has established an ongoing collaboration with the musician Sara Renar, already known for working with the young poets and writers. Dejanović is a member of Croatian Writers’ Association, and she is currently finishing graduate studies in literature theory and pedagogy at the University of Zagreb.