Literary evening: Feminist poetry with Ana Makuc


Tuesday, 5 March 2024, at 6 pm

SCCA Project Room, Metelkova street 6, 1000 Ljubljana

Literary evening

In the Slovenian language

Free Entry


Literary evening: Feminist poetry with Ana Makuc

Ana Makuc will read poetry from her new poetry collection entitled I Smuggle Watermelons and her translation of Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry from the collection The World’s Wife, both of which will be published shortly by the Sophia Publishing House. What both poetry collections have in common is that they are distinctly feminist and written in the form of the dramatic monologue, by means of which the poets give a voice to those who are invisible and silenced in our society: women, children, refugeesโ€ฆ



In her poetry collection ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐’๐ฌ ๐–๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž (๐๐ข๐œ๐š๐๐จ๐ซ, ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—), ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐€๐ง๐ง ๐ƒ๐ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ฒ, in thirty poems with thirty female speakers, gives to voice to those women who, as the saying goes, stand behind every ‘great’ man โ€“ whether real, historically attested, or fictional, mythological and biblical โ€“ so that we can see these men, such as Freud, Darwin, Orpheus, Odysseus, Faust, from the perspective of the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, through the experiences of their wives, lovers and sisters. She does all this in a distinctly accessible, witty, humorous, playful, vivacious and at times offensive (satirical, parodic) way, and, first and foremost, in the form of the dramatic monologue, as this is the only poetry collection by Carol Ann Duffy written entirely in this form, although the dramatic monologue occasionally appears in her other collections as well. In the collection, Duffy aims to highlight how women have generally been ignored at best and silenced at worst throughout the centuries. The poet enters into dialogue with that aspect of Western ideology, which โ€“ in the languages of philosophy, science, art and religion โ€“ has reduced women to animality, intellectual inferiority, passivity and dependence. Thus, she draws attention to the cultural and social consequences of this legacy, which favoured the narrative of the โ€˜worldโ€™s husbandโ€™ for far too long.

๐€๐ง๐š ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ฎ๐œโ€™s second collection of poems, I Smuggle Watermelons, is, like her debut, Roland Bathersโ€™ Lover (2015), written mostly in the form of the dramatic monologue. The present collection explores issues of motherhood, female body, violence, body boundaries and state borders from a feminist perspective, drawing parallels between the latter (hence the title of the collection), thematising borderline, intermediate, fluid, split subjectivities. In the collection, we can hear the voices of a pregnant woman, new mother, housewife, woman who survived domestic violence, raped woman, woman who had an abortion, pregnant refugee, partner of a serial killer, sex worker, woman with an eating disorder, mother with postpartum psychosis, depressed woman, autistic woman, poet, children, refugees. The author conveys social criticism through a mask/psychogram, the critique of patriarchal institutionalised violence that seeps into every pore of our private lives: physical, psychological (emotional, verbal), economic, sexual violence and/or domestic violence, heteronormative nuclear family, womenโ€™s unpaid and invisible reproductive (household and caring) work, curtailment of reproductive rights, European migrant policy, objectification of women, medical institutional treatment of female (pregnant) bodies. The very poetic form or subgenre of poetry, which has a long female writing literary tradition (it was invented by Victorian women poets), the dramatic monologue, empowers the speakers: these are not victims, but survivors (vulnerable, but strong โ€“ just like children), these are not objects, but subjects, these are not human trash, but persons, people with specific life circumstances.



๐€๐ง๐š ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ฎ๐œ (1982) is a Slovene poet, translator and activist. She graduated in comparative literature and literary theory and English language and literature from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, in 2008. In 2014, she obtained her PhD in gender and women’s studies from the Lancaster University, United Kingdom. Between the years 2014 and 2019, she was a co-creator of the International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns. In 2016, she received the Veronika Award for the best poetry collection of the year for her debut Roland Barthes’ Lover (2015, KUD Apokalipsa). In 2022, her translation of bell hooks’ work entitled Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics was published by Sophia Publishing House. Her poetry, literary translations and scientific articles in the field of feminist literary criticism have been published in numerous journals and monographs.
๐‚๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ ๐€๐ง๐ง ๐ƒ๐ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ฒ (1955) in a Scottish poet, playwright, childrenโ€™s writer and professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University in Great Britain, otherwise a Bachelor of Philosophy. In 2009, she was named Poet Laureate of Great Britain and she is the first woman to ever receive this title. She is the author of numerous poetry collections (including Standing Female Nude (1985), Selling Manhattan (1987), Meantime (1993) and Rapture (2005)) and the recipient of several literary awards for poetry. Duffy is one of the most popular and prolific British poets. Her poetry is written in accessible language, as she says that she ‘likes to use simple words in a complex way’




Organization: 25th International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns

Coproduction/co-organisation: Sophia Publishing House, SCCA-Ljubljana

Design of the poster and graphic design: Ariane Podlesny

Photo: The Red Dawns’ Archive

Contacts for media and press: Saลกa Nemec,

Financial support: City of Ljubljana, Department of Culture




Literary evening: Feminist poetry with Ana Makuc