Dejan Stojanović: “The World is Always Open”

Photographers Unknown, A Collection; Th World is Always Open

“The world is always open, 

Waiting to be discovered.” 

—-Dejan Stojanović, Circling: 1978-1987

Born in March of 1959 in Peć, Serbia, Dejan Stojanović is a poet, writer, essayist, and former journalist. He attended the University of Pristina at Kosovo, earning a law degree although he was predominantly interested in the arts and philosophy. Stojanović began to privately write poetry in the late 1970s, not publishing any work until four years later in several Serbian literary magazines. In 1983, he joined his hometown literary club Karagać, first becoming its secretary and, later, its president.

Stojanović finished writing his first book of poetry,”Krugovanje (Circling)” in 1983; however, it was not published until 1993, with several poems replaced by newer ones. In early 1990, he joined the writing staff of the Serbian magazine Pogledi (Viewpoints), beginning a series of interviews with Serbian writers in Belgrade, including Momo Kapor and Nikola Milošević. 

In May and June of 1990, Stojanović conducted interviews in Paris with surrealist painter Ljubomir Popović and expressionist painter Petar Omčikus. In December of 1990, he traveled to the United States to do interviews with prominent American writers, including Saul Bellow. His series of interviews, published as “Conversations” in 1999 by the Belgrade publisher Književna Reč, won the Rastko Petrović Award, presented by the Association of Writers of Serbia.

Stojanović’s poetry collections are characterized by sequences of compact, dense poems, organized carefully in a simple yet complex structure. This is especially evident in his books, such as “The Sign and Its Children”, “Oblik”, and “The Creator”, in which a relatively small number of words are repeated in different contexts. Stojanović builds new perspectives and meanings to the topics in his poems, often placing them together with a level of absurdity and paradox. Some of his collections of poems, however, have common themes, making the books, in essence, on long poem.