Choleva, Silviya

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Silviya Choleva (1959, Sofia) is a writer, publisher, and journalist. She has six poetry collections to her credit the latest being From the Sky to the Earth (2015) also two fragmented books, the novel Green and Gold and a short story collection Goshko (2013). Her poems have been translated into various languages. She has received many national awards, and she works at the Bulgarian National Radio, broadcasting on literature and culture. She has worked as an editor in the Seasons journal for Bulgarian literature and as editor-in-chief of Altera magazine for gender, language and culture. At present she is an editor at the Literaturen Vestnik weekly (Literary Newspaper). She has given lectures at Sofia University and at New Bulgarian University. In 2012, together with literary translator Iglika Vassileva and poet and translator Kaloyan Ignatoski, she founded DA publishing house for poetry.

Photographer Svoboda Tzekova


Critical Reviews

Green and Gold draws from the personal sources of autobiography, but soon abandons this line of narration to proceed on a path beyond its limitations; its evocations make the reader sink into a slow and profound scan of the past through the spyglass of sorrow.

Bilyana Kourtasheva, literary critic, on Green and Gold, Kultura weekly

Its a rare thing in poetry to encounter such an abundance of living images throwing a bridge from mans personal and innermost world towards the outward and the social sphere This book must be read patiently and thoughtfully in order to sense the whole gamut of things existing, all the visible and invisible aspects of living, the whole meandering of the fate and the presumptions for our common lot.

Ivan Teofilov, poet and playwright, on From the Sky to the Earth, Kultura weekly

What binds these stories together is the description of the experience of our contemporary hero here and now. The threads of the outer world and the intimate experience intertwine now in tune, now in clashes, in order to capture the imagination with their subtle sensibility and the magic spell of the writers talent. These are stories in which the end is often the outset of deeper contemplation.

Iglika Vassileva, literary translator, on Goshko

This is a book about the rapids of solitude between ourselves and the people we love. The stories by Silviya Choleva are like canvasses of psychological patterns, where our emotions climb upwards towards freedom and towards the void. The whole collection of Goshko is like a vertical labyrinth, where our intimacy with the writer is merciless and elusive.

Marin Bodakov, poet and journalist, on Goshko


It is about time to say it once and for all: such a thing as poetry for a large reading public does not exist. And not only here, but everywhere. And publishers are part of the problem, because quite uncritically they put on the market very good and very bad poets side by side. I think that such mixing of high poetry and trash poetry is very harmful. It sends bad signals to the younger generation who are at the start of their creative efforts. In brief poetry is not an easy form of writing, it is not something to make you popular, neither is it something which the mass reading public understands.
It is useless to read whatever comes your way, you have to read only whatever is worthwhile. Today an enormous quantity of chaff is on the book market. That is why it is so important to separate the chaff from the grain. In every sense of the word.

Excerpt from an interview with Silviya Choleva in Dnevnik daily

What is the biggest challenge in your work?
To manage to combine and complete all the different things I am doing. To succeed in spite of everything and find enough free space for observing and studying the world. To keep my interest alive. To work and save time for writing. And for reading, but apart from my obligatory professional reading! In writing: to resist doubting whether a piece of writing is good or good for nothing Writing is a challenge in itself.

Excerpt from an interview with Silviya Choleva in Capital weekly

A poem is a luxury, but not a material luxury, a poem is more than everything that surrounds us. It is a kind of essence of the world and of our life. It is a luxury is the sense that in order to understand it one has to know the clues to it, to be well read and to have accumulated sufficient knowledge. In my view this is a big problem, because nowadays people are so practically oriented that they keep saying: if this or that is not useful to me, then why should I bother.

Excerpt from an interview with Silviya Choleva for the culture and art website Vapreki

To make a fetish of the plot and the action, to seek surprise at all costs or use other similar nets to catch readers, higher prints and bigger profits this has led to the present unfortunate state of affairs in the prose writing.
I dont think un-personal books exist. Every book, no matter in what genre, embraces part of the author. In every one of my books the material and the spiritual challenge their supremacy. It is the same in life. This is true not only for women, but for every single person with more profound habits of thinking.

Excerpt from an interview with Silviya Choleva for Portal Kultura


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