In her sixth collection of poetry, Macedonian poet and novelist Lidija Dimkovska scrutinizes life’s customary and trivial details in a quest for greater meaning. She writes from the intersection of boundaries; her poems are long-lined and prosaic; she references religious tenets and native folklore and blends irony with nostalgia for her youth. The world that she sees and writes of is sharp-edged, vivid, and resonant with profound meaning. “Since my brother hanged himself with the telephone wire / I can talk to him for hours on the phone” opens the poem “National Soul,” continually returning to her reflections on death and its neutralization: life. With the observant and detailed eye of a nomad, Dimkovska’s world reassesses the insignificant and charges it with far-reaching significance.
“Lidija Dimkovska’s pH Neutral History translated by Ljubica Arsovska and Peggy Reid, shows us that life’s little snags and snares are the same anywhere, including in the ravaged Balkans.” —Library Journal
“Dimkovska doesn’t ask the easy questions: ‘to dig out what is live in my writing / do I have to bury those living in the world?’ This 10th collection… grapples with a world at once delightfully surreal and painfully real…Dimkovska is a poet English-language readers would be poorer without.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review