Bulgarian poetess wins high award in Paris

Aksinia Mihaylova

Bulgarian poetess Aksinia Mihaylova won France's prestigious national award for poetry Prix Max Jacob 2020. She received the prize for her collection of poems Le baiser du temps (The Kiss of Time). “At last, good news comes in these sad and insecure days,” Mihaylova wrote on Facebook and added that the awarding ceremony which had to take place in the Centre National du Livre was cancelled due to the declared state of emergency and quarantine imposed because of the coronavirus.  

“I feel happily sad and moderately optimistic,” she shared with her friends and followers on Facebook, writing further that now she is in Sofia. In 2014 she was endowed with France's highest award for poetry, Prix Guillaume Apollinaire, for her collection of poems Ciel a perdre (Sky to Lose) written in French and published by one of the most high-profile European publishing houses, Gallimard. Her second book written in French, Le baiser du temps, which brought her the Max Jacob prize, was also published by Gallimard in 2019. After Yordan Radichkov in 1980, Mihaylova is the second Bulgarian author published by the prestigious publishing house.

Aksinia Mihaylova was born in 1963. She is a poet and translator, a graduate of several educational institutions: Lycee francaise in Vratsa, State Institute of Library Studies in Sofia and Slavic philology department of Sofia University. She also has degrees in French philology, English linguistics and literature. Mihaylova is the author of six collections of poems in Bulgarian. Her verses have been published in many literary magazines, newspapers and anthologies in Bulgaria and abroad. The poetess' name made Bulgaria famous because for the first time in the 74-year history of Prix Guillaume Apollinaire, a Bulgarian poet has been awarded it. Mihaylova also holds the highest award of the Republic of Latvia - Knight of the Order of the Three Stars.

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