On hand to speak about the poet and her lyrical oeuvre were CHF acting director Piskulić, the editor of the Macedonian Voice magazine and event moderator Milena Georgievska and historian and writer Đuro Vidmarović, a member of the governing board of the CHF.

Croatian-Macedonian poet Ljerka Toth Naumova’s latest collection was promoted at the Croatian Heritage Foundation headquarters in Zagreb on the 19th of September at an event co-organised by the Macedonian Minority Council of Zagreb and the CHF.
Many were on hand, including the top people with the Macedonian minority group and members of the Macedonian community in Croatia, representatives of the Macedonian embassy, the vice president of the Croatian Writers’ Society and fellow poets from the emigrant community, for the presentation of Zarodiš na povikuvanje/Pozivanje začetka (Inviting Inception), an award winning collection of poetry. The promo event also featured the screening of Snovi ne zaspivaat (Dreams Can’t Fall Asleep), a documentary movie shot by the Macedonian national radio and television company on the life of poet Danica Ručigaj. The film is written by Katica Trajkovska and directed by Mišo Roganović.

Ljerka Toth Naumova was presented the Danica Ručigaj Award, conferred by the Macedonian Writers’ Society for the best collection of poetry for her latest collection, published by Bata Press of Skopje, with an afterword by Macedonian writer Мihail Rеnđоv and another penned by reviewer and poet Marina Мijakovska, in the Macedonian capital of Skopje in May of this year. The award is named after Ručigaj, a Macedonian poet who died tragically in her 29th year when an earthquake hit Skopje in 1963. Danica Ručigaj published only two collections of poetry, but they met with great success.

Ljerka Toth Naumova holds a master’s degree in economics and has penned some fifty papers in the field of economics. She has also produced fifteen collections of poetry in the Macedonian and Croatian languages and is a member of the Macedonian Writers’ Society, the Croatian Writers’ Society and is an active member of the Croatian community in Macedonia. She also serves as the chief editor of the community’s Croatian Word newspaper. She is a long-standing member of the board of directors of the directorate for culture and the arts of the City of Skopje and takes part in the organisation of the Summer in Skopje culture event. Her poetry has been translated into a number of languages and she has promoted her poetry at literary events on the island of Sicily, in Greece, Macedonia and in Croatia.

Her contacts with the emigrant communities are manifested through, among other things, her participation at the Rešetari meetings of poets in the northern Croatian Slavonia region, in which she has again taken part this year and her participation in the Croatian minority and homeland writers’ meetings in the coastal town of Rovinj. She is also a regular and long-standing contributor of articles on the CHF Internet portal and it’s Matica magazine. As one of the builders and guardians of the bridges between domestic and emigrant Croatian and Macedonian citizens she was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the CHF for her exceptional contribution to the work of the community in the preservation, development and promotion of Croatian culture on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Croatian Community of Macedonia association held in Skopje.

A multiple award winner, the author lives and works in Skopje and has seen her work represented in a number of panoramic and anthological publications of contemporary Macedonian poetry.

On hand at the CHF event on the 19th of September to speak about the poet and her lyrical oeuvre were the acting director of the Croatian Heritage Foundation Mirjana Ana-Maria Piskulić, the editor of the Macedonian Voice magazine Milena Georgievska and historian and writer Đuro Vidmarović, a member of the governing board of the CHF. Art historian and head of the CHF emigrant heritage department Ljerka Galic joined Ljerka Toth Naumova in offering their interpretation of Naumova’s verses, with the author interpreting poems in the Macedonian language and Ms Galic those written in Croatian.

Curator, art historian and poet Violeta Kalić spoke of Canadian-Macedonian painter Dubravko Naumov – she has followed his development as an artist in Macedonia and abroad for over a decade. She discussed Dubravko Naumov’s illustrations and calligraphic treatment of his mother’s verse.

Serving as event moderator was Milena Georgievska.

In her emotional address to the many friends, poetry enthusiasts and compatriots from both homelands Ljerka Toth Naumova thanked the organisers and all those who participated in this meeting of poetry and friendship.

“Steadfastly laying the rug of my curiosity on the face of the road of life, my memories of the plains of my native region of Slavonia are now only memories that remain in the past. Yes, I have already learned that I remember. And remembering is like a meeting. There is nothing a living person can lose that a single spring might not bring back. I think that, having started on this path, one should continue whatever the circumstances,” said Ms Naumova at the close of the event. It remains to be seen where this path will take her – most certainly to her next collection of poetry.

Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photos by: Snježana Radoš