Semezdin Mehmedinovic

Semezdin Mehmedinoviç was born in Kiseljak, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1960.  After studying Comparative Literature and Librarianship in Sarajevo, he worked as an editor for the opposition magazines for young people ‘Lica’ and ‘Valter’. He also did performance art.  He published his first book of poetry ‘Modrac’ in 1984, and his second book ‘Emigrant’ in 1990. In 1991 he founded the cultural magazine ‘Fantom slobode’ (Engl: Phantom of Freedom), of which only six issues appeared – three pre-war and three war editions.  When war broke out in 1992, Mehmedinoviç remained with his family in Sarajevo during the attacks. In this year he published an early version of ‘Sarajevo Blues’; the more extensive version was published in Zagreb in 1995.  With friends he founded the weekly political magazine ‘Dani’ (Engl: Days) in 1992, to create a voice for democracy and pluralism in times of genocide.  Today, its objectivity and lucidity still make it Bosnia’s best magazine. In 1996 Mehmedinoviç emigrated to the US and now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.  ‘Sarajevo Blues’ was published in English in 1998 and was praised by the ‘Washington Post’ as one of the best literary documents of the Bosnian war.  ‘Sarajevo Blues’ was translated into German in 1999.  In 2002 Mehmedinoviç published another book of poems entitled ‘Devet Alexandrija’, in Zagreb, Croatia.  Since autumn 2003 the book has been available in English translation under the title ‘Nine Alexandrias’.

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