Valentina Novković: “Inspiration is another name for God’s blessing to speak through our words”

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

“I want all of us to live in peace in love, that’s the only thing that makes sense. That is the meaning of existence”

Dear poet Honorable. Please share your thoughts about the pandemic and the future of literature after. Literature, as one of the types of art, will always be needed by man. It is an echo of the ancient in us and the need to leave a mark in eternity. Very often, it is also a way to find an answer, but also to find a way to yourself, to self-knowledge. Pandemics, in my opinion, have led us to think more about our place in the world, to dedicate ourselves to things we usually don’t have time for, reading for example. I don’t think we should be worried about the future of the book, it will always have its admirers.

The Good and the Bad. Who is winning in nowadays? Good, always. The meaning of existence is kindness, empathy, the need to do something nice for others, to comfort someone, to help as much as we can. This is how we fulfill our purpose in life. It may seem that evil is stronger, but good always wins, I’m sure of that.

Tell us where inspiration is coming  from  for you? Inspiration is in everything, people, nature, while petting a cat on the street, feeding pigeons, walking with my daughter through the streets of her childhood… When I read an interesting story, a poem. Inspiration is another name for God’s blessing to speak through our words.

Are the people read books or no? My experience is that they read, as the editor and presenter of the program “Literary Conversations” where my guests are many creators and poets and writers, and there are always a lot of people in the audience, I know that they read. Those who love to read will not stop, the love for books is strong and lasting.

How many books have you written.  And where can we find your books? I wrote six books, five poetry and one prose. My books can be found at publishers, on their websites.

Do you believe that our life, our  destiny  is written or we can change it? I think there is truth in both statements. Something is written, but we can influence the course of things. Because we still have the freedom to choose, if we don’t like a choice or path, we can change it. But the most important thing is to have the strength to accept what is impossible to change.

Religion is the cause of many wars- a lot of people they say that. What do you think? Every religion preaches love, I have never read anywhere that it is written in the holy books to kill, steal, lie, take away the freedom of other peoples. God is love and harmony. Some people are not and don’t like it that way. That’s why ugly things happen in the world, like wars. We are all brothers and sisters and we should help each other. And in fact, every evil comes from the human desire to have more than what they have, to be above someone in a material or other sense.

“Money brings happiness?” I don’t think that money brings happiness, it is only a means by which we can achieve some wishes. But happiness is in things that cannot be bought, in love, friendship, health, spiritual peace…

The book: E book or Hardcover book. What will be the future? We already have a lot of electronic books, because the young generation uses various gadgets and that is quite natural, it is important that they read. However, I am sure that the paperback book will have its buyers, because nothing is as beautiful as the smell of a freshly printed book.

What do you think about the year of  technology? Are we lost ourselves inside the mobile phone , the computers… The era of new technologies has brought many advantages, but also disadvantages. It is true that people now spend more time on the computer or mobile phone. However, nothing can replace a live meeting and conversation with someone. I think we should spend more time in personal contact, conversation, exchange of opinions, in nature. A message or a picture through a camera can never replace a conversation in the same room. Of course, if our possibilities do not allow us to do so and we have to use modern technological means to hear or see someone because he lives on another continent, then we have to use modern technologies and it is good that they exist.

Environmental issues. Are the progress the technology  and the humans are responsible for all this desaster? Why? Yes, modern technologies and irresponsible behavior of man towards nature are the cause of many accidents. Man forgets that he is part of nature and that he cannot disturb its order without consequences. Unfortunately, a lot of bad things have already been done, and neglecting the environment is fatal to man, I hope humanity is aware of this.

A wish for 2024. I want all of us to live in peace in love, that’s the only thing that makes sense. That is the meaning of existence.
Thank you, dear Eva, for the wonderful questions, greetings to all readers from Serbia.

Valentina Novković, (Serbia) graduated from the Department of Russian Language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. Literary translator, poet and prose writer. Member of the Association of Writers of Serbia, Association of Writers of Kazakhstan, Serbian Literary Association, associate of the Institute for Children’s Literature. Editor at the “Liberland” publishing house,  and translator of works by authors from Russia and the former Soviet Union and English-speaking authors.
She published poetry and prose in many magazines: Književne novine, Trag, Književni pregled, Brankovina, Buktinja, Stremljenje, Savremenik, Istok, Šumadijske metaphore, Balkanske verticale, Sveske in numerous electronic magazines as well as in relevant periodicals in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Spain, Nepal, Bangladesh, Italy, Vietnam, Turkey, China, Kazakhstan, India and other countries.
Represented in numerous domestic and international anthologies (compiled by Leo Butnaru, Rahim Karimov, Marelene Pasini, Agron Shele, Rini Valentina, Shikdar Mohammed Kibriah, Carlos Jarquin, Alicija Minjarez Ramirez and many others)
Her poems were translated into Russian, English, Macedonian, Romanian,Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Polish, Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, Urdu, Romanian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Korean and Bangla languages. Winner of many awards for poetry and prose.
Journalist of Focus Vesti, Pokazivač, Konkretno and many others where she publishes interviews with creators from all over the world, so far she has done more than 200 interviews with prominent writers such as Leo Butnar, Shikdar Mohammed Kibriah, Agron Shele, Eldar Akhadov, Arslan Bayir, Marlene Pasini, Sudhakar Gaidhani, Rahim Karimov, Natalie Bisso, Sergej Glavyuk, Yevgeny Chigrin, Mai Van Fan, Ivano Mugnaini, Iles Feher, Terane Rahimli, Hosiat Rustamova, Kuchkar Narkabil, Stanislav Li, Zginyev Roth, Alexander Kabyshev, Ivan Volosyuk, Ekaterina Poljanska, Rini Valentina, Taghrid Bou Merhi and many others. a book of conversations with these creators is being prepared.
She has translated and published over 300 individual poems and stories by authors from all over the world in the relevant literary periodicals of Serbia, she has written reviews for many prominent authors, an anthology of world poetry is being prepared, which will include over 200 authors whose works she has translated, which she will edit and sign as a reviewer.

Winner of many awards for poetry and prose.
Author’s books:
“Timeless” (Draslar, 2014)
“A drop on dry land” (Parthenon, 2018)
“Riddles of Tenderness” (Liberland, 2021)
“Heavenly Song” (As Oglas, publishing house, 2022) First prize for a poetic manuscript at the Fifth Drina Literary Meeting (2021)
„Unrest, reconciliations“ ( Sunčani breg, 2023)
“Two hours of reality” (UWS, 2020)

Translated books:
“Colorful Bouquet” Russian drama for children and young people (one of the translators) Alma, 2019.
“Space in the Snow”, by Leo Butnar (2019, Alma)
„At the end of the sky“, Stanislav Lee (2020, Liberland)
“In the footsteps of the soul”, Hosiat Rustamova (2021, Liberland)
“I want to see your eyes”, Kuchkar Narkabil ( Galaksianis, 2021)
“Sad Tar”, Ali Kafaroglu (Liberland, 2022)
„A Case Abroad“ Kučkar Narkabil (Sunčani breg, 2022)
„From Saturday to Sunday“, Leo Butnaru (ASoglas, 2022)
„Sun shower“ Krishna Prasai ( Sunčani breg, 2022)
„ In the language of the song“ Arslan Bayir ( Asoglas, 2023)
She received a large number of awards and recognitions for her literary translations, such as one of the translators also received the award of the Association of Translators of Montenegro for the best translated prose book in 2019 by the prominent creator from  Kyrgyzstan, Rahim Karimov (Book of stories for young people). From St. Petersburg, recognition for good work in strengthening the ties between Russia and Serbia and translated books from the Russian language. Recognition from Morocco: Ambassador of Peace and Peaceful Coexistence for her efforts in spreading the culture of peace and cooperation among the people. Shortlist for the Rahim Karrimov Prize in the field of poetry.
Editor and host of the library’s regular program Milutin Bojić “Literary Conversations”, which has been running for five years and hosted many authors from Serbia and neighboring countries.
Lives in Belgrade.