It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire
by Zvonko Karanović
translated from the Serbian by Ana Božičević
It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire collects poems from Serbian poet Zvonko Karanović’s entire oeuvre, translated by Ana Božičević. Karanović is “a counter-cultural icon [who] writes in a vivid, sophisticated vernacular of desire and transcendence amid cultural and political change” (PEN Translation Fund Advisory Board). He has traveled widely throughout Europe, hitchhiking and often changing jobs, including owning a music store for 13 years. For many years he has been an underground cult figure and a seminal influence on a generation of younger poets.
Zvonko Karanović is a poet and fiction writer born in 1959 in Niš, Serbia. A writer of distinctly urban sensibilities, steeped in the spirit of riot and revolt, he has written some of the most significant politically engaged poetry critiquing the '90s regime in Serbia. He is the author of 14 books of poetry, most recently Box Set; Sleepwalkers on a Picnic; Cages; Burn, Baby, Burn: Selected Poems in German; and The Best Years of Our Lives: Selected Poems 1991-2004. He also wrote three award-winning novels. He lives in Belgrade, Serbia.
Ana Božičević, born in Croatia in 1977, is the author of Stars of the Night Commute (2009) and Rise in the Fall, one of Publishers Weekly's top five in poetry for 2013. She's a two-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from the Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović. The anthology of translations, The Day Lady Gaga Died: An Anthology of Newer New York Poets, which she co-edited with Željko Mitic, appeared in Serbia in Fall 2011. She teaches and studies poetics at the City University of New York and has taught at Naropa University, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the San Francisco State University Poetry Center, Harvard, and elsewhere. With Sophia Le Fraga she performs and creates multimedia work as part of a poetry duo called not_I. She lives in New York City.
Cover design by Scott Arany
Cover art by Jaya Nicely