Kapka Kassabova

Non-fiction writer, Poet


Kapka Kassabova is a travel writer, poet and novelist. Her childhood memoir Street Without a Name (Portobello, 2008) was shortlisted for the Prix du Livre Européen and the Dolman travel-book award. Her preoccupation with people’s relationship to place and displacement informs all her work, including her two poetry collections, Someone Else’s Life (Bloodaxe, 2004) and Geography for the Lost (Bloodaxe, 2007). Her novel Villa Pacifica (Alma, 2010) is set in South America, as are parts of the tango biography Twelve Minutes of Love (Portobello, 2011), which was shortlisted for the Scottish book awards.

Raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Kapka was university educated in New Zealand where her family emigrated after the fall of the Berlin Wall. There, she started writing in English and publishing poetry, fiction and travel journalism. Her first novel Reconnaissance (Penguin NZ, 1999) won an Asia-Pacific Commonwealth Writers’ prize. In 2005 she moved to Edinburgh and now lives in the Highlands where she writes in a cottage by a river. She has taught at Strathclyde University and is a regular tutor at the Arvon Foundation. In 2012 she was the Shakespeare Birthplace and Hosking Houses writer-in-residence in Stratford.

Kapka translated the short-story collection Circus Bulgaria by Dejan Enev from Bulgarian into English (Portobello, 2010) and is keenly interested in literary translation, cultural hybridism and eastern Europe during and post-Cold War. She contributes reviews, travel and feature articles to the Guardian, the Scottish Review of Books and Intelligent Life.

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Kapka Kassabova

Non-fiction writer, Poet


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  • University of Strathclyde, 2009–2011