Nina Bunjevac is a Toronto based cartoonist and illustrator. Her art education began at the Djordje Krstic school of applied art in Nish, Yugoslavia, and continued on to Central Technical School Art Department and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her work has been published in a variety of literary magazines and comics anthologies in Europe, US and Canada. Recent publications include: Mineshaft magazine (USA), Giuda, InguineMah (Italy), Le Dernier Cri (Marseille, France), Komikaze (Croatia) and Komiko (Serbia).
Askia would recount how, in her final delirium, his mother had kept on about the letters that Sidi Ben Sylla Mohammed, his father, was supposed to have sent from Paris. And some photos. Which he had never seen. But then one day he went off on the same route as the absent one. He did not leave to find the missing father. He could live with gaps in his genealogy. He left because of a strange thing his mother had said: “For a long time we were on the road, my son. And wherever we went, people called us Dirty Feet. If you go away, you will understand. Why they called us Dirty Feet.”
dont you worry a bowt me im doin ok n evry thin her is fin
i luv u
“My career path is typically atypical, which as far as I can tell is the norm among literary translators. By and large, people who translate literature have all kinds of meandering in their lifelines and in their professional lives as well. I eventually got a degree in literature from the University of Ottawa, and then a master’s at Concordia in creative writing. My thesis was a collection of poems. But then there’s the whole informal education which I think is as important, if not more, for my work as a translator: being raised by working-class immigrant polyglots, my involvement in semi-professional theatre and music in my late teens and early twenties, the very personal process I went through acquiring a deeper knowledge and love of the French language and civilizations, and the people who were my teachers, my friends, my intimates throughout that process. That’s the kind of thing I mean by ‘informal education.'”
I ran through a sprinkler park wedged into the middle of a block of rowhouses, walked up and down the Main, bought beads in a shop by the bus station, drank the best coffee I’d ever had and ate things I’d never tasted before – Chilean avocado sandwiches and heart of palm salads.
I’m a private connoisseur of baby names. Beneath humble, socially acceptable wishes only for a healthy baby with ten toes and ten fingers lurk all sorts of indulgent yearnings, and some of them must find their way into that name. Often the name choice seems a natural, organic thing, adhering closely to parents’ personalities. Sometimes, delightfully, the name cuts against the grain.
I’ve got to start at my first time in reform school. The Lyman School was on the Worcester turnpike about 30 miles from Boston. The first time I went there, I came in with three other kids. While we were in the office being registered, a kid we knew came up to us and said, “Tell them you’re Protestant. That way, you get out from polishing the floors on your hands and knees every Sunday.”
This poem is made of
100% reused characters,
Its author is a golem
made of fibres and minerals
listed on cereal-box sides.
And then the summer night was straw,
all gathered together and the light
could not get through. I thought
of someone, I was always thinking
of someone that summer. Would he
come to see me, with deer antlers
held above his head and torn belt-loops
on his jeans?
It is winter. Outside, the hills
are covered in moonlight
against frost. In a cold room
a man shuffles cards
in half darkness.