“Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani’s Reveries about Language explores the extraordinary condition of being a double exile. Her multilingual poems, employing English, French and Croatian, trace a journey of self becoming through language. Poetic space is created for contextualisation, philosophical and literary thought as well as polyphony and hybridity. The work is utterly contemporary, absorbing and beguiling.” (David Caddy, Tears in the Fence, 2020)
“With its startling imagery, fluid exploration of form and multi-lingual approach to poetry, Reveries About Language is a quest into a poet’s own heart of darkness through which the colour and light of new realizations and thought-provoking ideas are refracted. At times gentle, in others brutal, it can be read as both a love letter and written warning that marks the ways language can propel an individual across the barriers of identity, time and space, and raises a question about how far each of us is at the mercy of words. An refreshingly unapologetic book from a striking new voice” (Helen Cox, Poetrygram, 2019).
“Mina Ray’s multilingual poem ‘Reveries about Language’ (in which Engish, Croatian and French each form another layer in the linguistic palimpsest) is the centrepiece of a journal which moves, reflectively and imaginatively, between languages” (Editors’ Note, The Still Point Journal, Issue 1, Nov 2015).
“‘Gazelle’ is a beautiful, inspired and inspiring, unpublished collection of poems, full of truly lovely – and very original – phrases and images which invite the reader to share an experience of being in the world and in words. These ‘reveries’ give form to a relationship to language, to languages, that takes shape both in the body and in the mind, and that is both sensual and cerebral, celebratory and reflective” (Debra Kelly, University of Westminster, 2014).
Comments from the “Reveries about language” online poetry reading, 11 December 2020:
“I am glad that because of Covid [the event] is happening virtually because it opens it to people like me on different continents. Thank you for this experience.”
“Speaking as a mono-linguist I particularly enjoyed hearing the cadences and the rhythms of the French and Croatian language poetry. Fascinating and surprising.”
“Very enjoyable. Here’s appreciating all the effort and passion that has gone in to this production!”
“A breath of fresh air!”
“Real food for thought regarding belonging and identity, and ways of weaving different languages together. At a time when many are feeling down about Brexit, and an ‘isolationist mentality’, a real tonic to be among people who clearly love to explore and express themselves in different languages. It lifted my spirits!”
“I loved the musical polyphonic effect of the weaving of languages and the repetition.”
“Le monde semblait à nouveau ouvert durant les « rêveries autour de la langue » partagées ce soir”
“Tous les intervenants se sont donnés beaucoup de peine pour nous offrir une soirée culturelle et qui nous a poussés à réfléchir à certains problèmes de création artistique loin de l’ennui du Covid-19.”
“Jasminine pjesme su krasne, čak i kad slušam francuski koji ne razumijem, nekako dolaze riječi do srca. Sve u svemu ne samo da je bilo lijepo nego i zabavno! Hvala još jednom!”
All images © 2015 – 2020 Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani.