Jure Jakob

Slovenia

Jure Jakob was born in 1977 in Celje. He earned his Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, the city where he currently resides working as a self-employed professional in culture. In 2010, Jakob published an essay-like study of the prose of Lojze Kovačičl titled A Child’s View (Otroški pogled), while his poetic oeuvre consists of four books. Upon its publication in 2003, his debut Three Stations (Tri postaje) brought a seemingly reserved but decidedly fresh breath of air to contemporary Slovenian poetry and won its author the Golden Bird award. The book also took a prominent place in the anthology of young Slovenian poetry after 1990, which borrowed its title from one of Jakob’s poems. The book was sold out and reissued in 2009. Jakob’s second book of poetry, Wakefulness (Budnost), was published in 2006, his third, Abandoned Places (Zapuščeni kraji), in 2010, and his fourth and latest, Fragments of Work (Delci dela), in 2014. They have collectively established Jakob as one of the most prominent voices of his generation. His poetry has been translated into English, Italian, Polish, Czech, Macedonian, Serbian and Hungarian, Jakob and two other poets co-published a selection of their poetry in German, while 2012 saw the publication of Three Stations translated into Croatian.


Jakob's poetry debut announced his major poetic operations, methods and themes. As Marijan Pušavec wrote, Three stops are a genuine, unisome work, thought through and diligently crafted. The verses are long, but dense, as are the images, similar to what Whitman or the Slovene poet Edvard Kocbek introduced in his work. Pušavec called Jakob's images, his original narrative force »paintings«, because Jakob focuses on details, colours and textures of what he sees and feels. Those images or »paintings« are mostly non-urban, they derive from the indiference and monotony of nature and rural landscapes. His approach is without the pathos of a beginner or the arogance of a beginner and does not carry any suggestions, regarding the flow or mistery of life.

Andrej Hočevar, poet and editor writes: »Wakefulness means to patiently wait, write and observe, to observe the inside and observe the outside, finally it is also a seeing, which jumps like a spark between two worlds. These are slow and silent erruptions, moments of peace, which open the poet for the world and the world for the poet – a meeting, in which they readily offer eachother to one another, like the bodies of lovers. Without a triumph. To go to the other side to look back, because only this looking back is what uncovers the core – the presence of distance in the poet and the absence of the poet in the distance; two absences and two presences, wakefulness. One of a kind. These poems flow warmly as blood in the veins or wine through the throat, but also easily as a blueish smoke or a bird and majestically as a river. Of course, also bitter as the juice under a shell of a walnut.«

Veronika Dintinjana, one of the Versopolis poets, shares her passion for Jakob's poetry with many other readers. In the prologue to Particles of a Part she states that it is the best poetry book that she has read in a while: »Verses that are clear, pure, simple, full of meaning, full of the world. They don't use reality as a platform, as a canvas or pretence. They are open for all...(...)...The poet does not hide his insecurity, his fears, his (and I can, whilst reading, add 'ours') disorientation amidst repetitive everyday paths, that flow into one, always shorter path to that unknown landscape from which a traveller does not return. The engagement of these poems is in their authenticity. In the fulness. Because they are strong as a rock, as the sun. The metaphors are original, good, the images alive, convincing, verses without unnecessary words, the rhythm firm, mimicing the speed of a human step. I don't have enought of appropriate words to describe the book in a way it deserves. But (if I once again borrow a verse from one of the poems) enough is much less: I love this book, it's landscapes.«

His collection of prose that came out in 2015 unveils an unprecedented territory in contemporary Slovene literature. It gives a voice to content that was usually dismissed and ridiculed or put forth with immense sentiment and undeserved pathos: nature. Jakob proves that even amidst a world without people there is a world – the inner world of the poet, his imagination, his observational skills, his empathy and sympathy with all living. In the essays he remembers his childhood and demonstrates how solitude breeds love, patience and knowledge.