Yanitsa Radeva: “Philosophical topics is what agitates me”
Yanitsa Radeva was born in January 1977 in the town of Yambol. She is a graduate of the Plovdiv University, major: “Ecology and Environmental Protection”, and of “St. Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University, major: “Bulgarian Philology”. Her debut book entitled “Another Rhythm” (2003) was published after she won “Veselin Hanchev” National Youth Poetry Competition. She is the winner of the sign of honour “SMS-Poetry ” (2007), of the second award of “Dora Gabe” National Competition for Young Poetesses (2006), of the second award of “Magic is Love” National Competition (2007), etc. In may this year Yanitsa was awarded in the town of Trayvna with the Slaveykov’s Prize for 2009 for a lyrical poem.
What is the award for you – a reason for striking a balance of all achieved up to this moment, or is it for you a stepping-stone for a new beginning from this moment forward?
The fact that the competition is anonymous is of great importance to me, because this means that you compete only with texts, but not with your name. And due to the fact that the award also includes a financial part, I do hope that it will help me for the realization of my new book.
When was the first time you reached for the blank sheet of paper? And what provoked you to do this?
There is a certain period if each person’s life when one always starts expressing all emotions hidden inside him, and almost all of us start writing in our school-time. But when such interests continues and you start reading the works of others and get interested in everything that happens and in the way it happens in this specific field, it is only then that you can claim that what you do has some value.
Which are the most common topics covered in your works?
I’m mostly agitated by philosophical topics. This doesn’t mean that I pay no attention to love or nature. However, in general I try to avoid the love and nature lyric poetry, or to make them only a concomitant thread in some poem focused on another problem.
Do you have any favourite authors “you’ve taught yourself from”?
I don’t want to specify any names because I don’t have certain idols – I’m interested in each text written in an original and non-standard way, raising some kind of new emotion or providing an unusual interpretation of some internal problem.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
I don’t have any specific place or expression to get me into a creative mood or any practice, ritual… Actually I’ve discovered recently that the computer keyboard is of great help in writing. When I sit in front of the blank sheet with a pen in my hand it is not always that I manage to express what I realize. However, there are a number of poems written by me at the time when I had no computer. It is just that modern technologies provide more opportunities and instead of crossing out on the sheet, when I press “Delete” and then insert a new work in the sentence, it seems like this word has been always there, there is no inaccurate expression to annoy me with the fact of its presence not in the right place, and thus it is much easier for me to continue.
We recently marked 24th May, the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture. It is the tradition that on this celebration people talk a lot about the Bulgarian literature. What is Your opinion about this?
In my opinion all these discussions in connection with the Bulgarian literature are somehow forced. It is Pencho Slaveykov’s words that writers are valued long after their death. Thus there is nothing scary in the fact that people don’t read a lot now – there used be other such periods in the past as well.
Do you also make any attempts to write prose?
Yes, quite for a short time. Even now in the summer I will take part in a seminar in creative writing led by Elizabeth Kostova that is to take place in Sozopol, and I do believe that she will teach me many new things.
And at the time when you don’t work and don’t write … do you have any hobby?
Yes, I love watching the birds in my spare time, I’m an amateur in ornithology. The observation of their way of life fills me with positive emotions that “charge” me from a creative point of view and make me write.