Volha Złotnikava – Наперадзе толькі лес (There is only the Forest ahead)

The book includes poems written from August 2020 to February 2023.


Volha Złotnikava: There is only the Forest ahead
Illustration: Nina Marhajeva
hochroth Minsk
Berlin, 2023
ISBN 978-3-949850-26-4
Language: Belarusian, Russian

“…life stands above us, / a baby-angel / from an overturned / boat of love”. This is probably the most accurate quote from the new poetry book by Volha Złotnikava, a kind of introduction to the poet’s artistic world. Its distinctive feature is that Volha organically combines the systems of two languages – Russian and Belarusian. Each of them brings to her poetry its own constellation of images, the sound of the poetic line, and unique intonation. 

This new book is based on the broken rhythm, the fragments of phrases with many pauses, the sound gaps leaving space for reflection. In these poems, one feels the experience of a person who has passed through the Belarusian August 2020. That is why the Biblical imagery is presented in dark colors, and hope is problematized, not to say “absent”. The artistic world is permeated by the leitmotifs of keeping silence, the impossibility of shouting, the inability to break through the wall of emptiness, the violent deprivation of sound. But, at the same time, these are not comments on reality. More precisely, these are more than comments, because they concern the human destiny and its trembling part – the heart. That’s why the Forest is ahead.

Volha Złotnikava was born in 1987 in Minsk. She studied at the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts. Her poems were published in “Anthology of the Belarusian vers libre” and “Anthology of poets. Selected by Valžyna Mort”. There were also the publications in the printed and online journals: “Минская школа”, “Homo Legens”, “Новый журнал”, “Вестник РХД”, “Literratura”, “Этажи” and others. Złotnikava is the author of the poetry books “Паства” (“Flock”, 2016) and “Радогощенский дневник” (“Radahošča diary”, 2018). Lives in Minsk.