Nicolae Dabija

Nicolae Dabija

Nicolae Dabija was born on July 15, 1948 in the village of Codreni, in the Cainari region of the Republic of Moldova. The Cainari region was part of Romania until June 28, 1940 when it was granted to Stalin by Hitler as part of the Molotov-Ribbentropp Pact.

A 1972 graduate of the State University of Chisinau, he is the author of many volumes of poetry and essays, among them The Third Eye (1975), Pure Water (1980), In The Name of Orpheus (1983), The Unsigned Painting (1985), A Wing Under The Shirt (1989), Blackbird Once Wild, Now Tame (1992), The Teardrop That Can See (1994), Stone Egg (1995), and Freedom Has God’s Face (1997).

Volumes and collections of his verse have appeared in translation in ten different countries. He has translated into Romanian the works of Lorca, Jukovski, and Goethe. He has also authored a variety of high school textbooks on Romanian history and literature.

Since 1986, he has been the editor of Literature and Art, a weekly left-wing newspaper devoted to the democratization of Moldova, its continued independence, and the fight against a return to totalitarianism. Mr. Dabija was a representative in the first Moldovan Soviet parliament to be chosen in free elections.

He is also the president of the National Association of Moldovan Scientists, Scholars and Artists, and has received several local and international awards for his poetry. These include The Youth Award, in 1997, the proceeds of which were used for the digging of a new well in his native village, Codreni. He received the 1988 Moldovan National Poetry Prize, and the 1994 Columna Prize for Poetry from the Romanian Academy of Arts and Letters.

There are six sample poems in Romanian and English. “Sad Rain” and “The Cat” appeared in New Laurel Review. “Ballad” appeared in Agni, “Barbarians”, and “Nausicaa” appeared in Oasis (London), and “Hourglass” appeared in Connecticut Review.

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