War Food


War Food by Milica Mijatović
Fool for Poetry Prize winner

Southword Editions, 2023, 34 pages
ISBN: 978-1-915573-01-8

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Milica Mijatović is a Serb poet and translator. Born in Brčko, Bosnia and Hercegovina, she relocated to the United States where she earned a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Capital University. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University and is a recipient of a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Consequence.

“The world is too loud now,” Milica Mijatović writes, and that is why we need poems like these, with their tense beauty, thoughtful quiet, and agile wisdom. War Food is a surprisingly meditative book on the collateral damage of war, whether that war is starkly literal or devastatingly personal. This book of spare and moving poems will haunt you like a phantom scar.
– Kevin Griffith, author of Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange

Milica Mijatović’s first chapbook War Food delivers news that resonates for every reader whose heartbreaking histories of “the Old Country” have been passed from generation to generation. These beautiful lyric poems, with their universal griefs and loves, resonate with deep loss and the fierce determination to never forget.
– Gail Mazur, author of LAND’S END: New and Selected Poems

Some of the most powerful war poetry is that written as a kind of testament to a lost bucolic age. There is a landscape with a village, some trees, a river, a bridge, a battlefield beyond. There is a vineyard; people are drinking rose juice and eating plums. There are pigeons cooing. But the imagination is disoriented, whether dreaming or waking: is someone gathering fallen apples or body parts? The speaker in Milica Mijatović’s War Food speaks of “guilt/ for being there, guilt for writing of it,” and rebukes herself, saying “it isn’t even your war.” But she renders the maimings and losses of the complicated “three-sided” ex-Yugoslav War as poets are able to render wars: with vivid detail and sympathetic imagination.
– Karl Kirchwey, author of Stumbling Blocks: Roman Poems