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Charles Simic

In this week’s ABR Podcast, Jelena Dinić pays tribute to Charles Simic, the Yugoslavian-born American poet, essayist, and translator, who died earlier this year. After her own poetry received an award in 2020, Jelena Dinić initiated a correspondence with Simic in Serbian, two writers ‘born in a country that doesn’t exist anymore’. Jelena Dinić’s writing in Serbian and English has been published in several literary journals and anthologies. Listen to ‘”Come closer and listen”: A tribute to Charles Simic (1938–2023)’, published in the November issue of ABR.

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It took me years to gather enough courage to introduce myself. Finally, deep into the Covid lockdown and a few months after receiving an award for my first collection of poems, I began my correspondence with Charles Simic by sending him an email to share the news, as if he were a family member, the one who would understand. He replied warmly, kindly, and in Serbian: ‘Draga Jelena …’

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