is a poet, playwright and editor
“No one among our contemporary authors laughs like Monika Herceg; nor writes more sorrowful poems,” writes Miljenko Jergović, a Croatian novelist and essayist. The latter statement is especially true when it comes to Herceg’s debut poetry collection Initial Coordinates. The poems in the book portray the lives of women in rural Croatia throughout the twentieth century, whose stories of poverty and struggle are recounted in the voices of Herceg’s family members.
“There were no books in our house, and paper was only used to light the fire,” Monika recalls. However, during her education in the Croatian town of Petrinja, her teachers soon recognized her talent and provided her the support her family could not. Herceg began writing poetry while working several jobs, all taken on to finance her study of physics.