I'm teaching another travel writing class for Catapult, starting Feb 29

Everywhere Yugo in New York

A few years ago, I wrote a poem about my old country, Yugoslavia (read below). That was my way of dealing with the collapse of my homeland, on an emotional creative level. But until a few days ago, I never publicly expressed my views on what happened back home in the 1990s, and how I felt about it now, almost two decades later. I am proud to say that the first time I wrote about it was this past Sunday in the Travel section of The Washington Post, in my article entitled Everywhere Yugo in New York. The story seems to have resonated with a lot of people — the feedback has been amazing! So I thank everyone who read it and would like to invite you to do so, too.

It also opened a whole can of worms I’ve been suppressing for many years. I expect this to be the first of many articles to come dealing with the topic of my lost country.


Let me tell you about a country
that once was.
And now isn’t,
save a page or two in leftist history books.

There used to be a country,
now in a corner of my mind,
that somewhere along the way
shifted into fairytale.

This country few of us remember,
it used to be.

It has been…

Except for future tense.
it will never be.

Or present…
it isn’t,
isn’t going anywhere.

Because it’s gone.

But back then,
it really was.

Maybe you don’t believe me
for I have no words to describe it.

It’s off the map,
beyond words…

This country.

Now a myth.

Blog Comments

I loved the poem and I'm looking forward to read more.

Nice Poem Anja!! How's your journey, where are you now??


Wonderful piece in the Post. Food can be so closely tied to emotions as food is "home."

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