© Stefan Worring (KSTA)
Jovan Nikolić was born in Belgrade in 1955 and grew up on a Romany settlement near Čačak, Serbia. Since 1981, he has published numerous volumes of poetry as well as plays and satirical texts in Serbo-Croatian. He has won prizes and attained remarkable popularity as a poet, playwright, columnist, comedian and song writer—he even wrote the lyrics for Emir Kusturica’s film Black Cat, White Cat. In 1999, after the NATO bombing, he emigrated from Belgrade and now lives in Germany. He was supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the German PEN Writers in Exile Program (from April to December 2000), the city of Graz, the Schöppingen Arts Village Foundation, KulturKontakt Austria, Printemps des Poètes, as well as the city of Salzburg. Furthermore, he was a “Writer in Residence” at the Faculty of Humanities 2 at the University of Innsbruck in 2015. In 2000, his anti-war piece which he authored together with Ruždija-Ruso Sejdović, Kosovo mon amour, premiered at the Ruhr Festival. Since 2002, he has been Vice President of the International Romany Writers’ Association (IRWA), he is also a member of Serbian PEN. Several of Nikolić’s books were published in Klagenfurt: a German translation of his poetry and prose book Zimmer mit Rad (Room with a Wheel, 2004), Weißer Rabe, schwarzes Lamm (White Raven, Black Lamb, 2006) and Käfig (Cage, 2009). In 2011, White Raven, Black Lamb was voted “Book of the City” in Cologne. His novel Seelenfänger, lautlos lärmend (Soul Snatcher, Soundlessly Noisy) appeared in 2011. His book Das Orchester der Frauen, die mich verlassen haben (The Orchestra of the women who left me) was published in 2016. Apart from his literary work, in 2010 he initiated the “Roma Kulturkarawane“ (Romany Cultural Caravan) for the Rom e.V. Cologne through which he offers seminars and lectures on Roma culture and history and he has curated several exhibitions. Jovan Nikolić resides in Cologne. In 2017, several texts by Nikolić will be published in the German PEN anthology Zuflucht in Deutschland. Texte verfolgter Autoren (S. Fischer).