Macedonian poet and publisher Rade Siljan launched Rains: 90 Poems, a posthumous collection of Mateja Matevski’s poetry, at Matica Makedonska’s multimedia cultural center in Skopje on Wednesday.

The 90-poem selection was published to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Matevski’s birth.

“Mateja Matevski published 24 books of poetry, seven books of criticism and essays, four anthologies of Spanish, Galician, and Catalan poetry, and translated over 60 books from several languages,” Siljan said.

Writer Paskal Gilevski also spoke about Matevski’s work, describing the late poet as the father of Macedonian modernism.

“He had lived in Paris for a while,” Gilevski said, “and he introduced avant-garde poetry, from Apollinaire onwards, to Macedonian readers. He was one of the first translators, and then we joined him. […]

“Together with Gane Todorovski, he’s the founder of the modern Macedonian language of poetry.”

Wednesday’s book launch included a speech by scholar Vitomir Mitevski and music performances by Dragan Dautovski and Vasil Atanasov.

A leading figure in Macedonian literature, Matevski was born in Istanbul in 1929 and died in Skopje in 2018.

He was a member of the Macedonian Writers’ Association and the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, presiding over the latter from 2001 to 2004.

In 2011, Matevski was poet laureate of the 50th Struga Poetry Evenings.

He wrote the poetry collections: Rains (1956), Equinox (1963), The Iris (1976), Circle (1977), Linden Tree(1980), The Birth of Tragedy (1985), Growing Distant (1990), The Black Tower (1992), Whirlwind (1996), Barren Soil (1999), Inner Spaces (2000), Beyond Oblivion (2003), Longing for Wholeness (2005), Spaces Covered in Water (2006), The Wind and the City (2007), Origins (2008), Elegies for You (2009), Nirvana(2010), Slag – They Walked on Water – Honeycomb (2011), and Dark Daynights (2017).