HONJO, Ibrahim

Author Tags: Poetry

Born on April 16, 1948 in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ibrahim Honjo is a sculptor, painter and property manager who arrived in Canada, and in Vancouver, in 1995. He is the author of the self-published Do Not Write This Down [Ovo Ne Zapisuj] (2006), a collection of poems in both English and the Serbo-Croatian language. Roots in the Stone / Korijeni kamenu also contains reproductions of some of his photographs and paintings of nature. Honjo has also published extensively in his native language, winning several prizes in former Yugoslavia where he worked as an economist and journalist, also editing books and newspapers, and organizing poetry events and festivals. He lives in New Westminster, having previously lived in Port Moody.


Avard "19. September" for the best poetry book


Taste of Bitter Herbs - MS Jablanica 1971
Stone to Stone - Poetry Klub Bosanski Brod 1976
All my Green Town Squares "Vihor"Derventa 1990
"Roots in the Stone - "Vihor" Derventa 1990
Stone Talk - "Vihor" Derventa 1990
Do not Write this Down - "Vihor" Derventa 1991 (30 poems)
Sketches for an Unborn" - "Vihor" Derventa (Ljubljana) 1993
Do Not Write This Down - Self-published, Vancouver, 2006 (192 pages) $15
Roots in the Stone / Korijeni kamenu (Self-published by Back Yard Publishing, 2008).
Enigma from the Stone / Enigma sa Kamena (Self-published by Back Yard Publishing, 2009) / Enigma from the Stone, Publish America, 2010 978-1-4489-5699-9
Threads of My Essence(Autobiography), Publish America, 2011 ISBN Hardcover 978-1-4560-2578-6 and ISBN softcover 978-1-4560-2577-9
Poems I didn't want to write, some other dreams" Back Yard Publishing 2011ISBN 978-0-9782175-3-2.

[BCBW 2012] "Poetry"

Roots in Stone
Review (2008)

New Canadians continue to arrive here and keep writing in their native languages, sometimes translating their work into English as Ibrahim Honjo has done for Roots in Stone (Back Yard Publishing).

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1948, Honjo came to Canada in 1995. Roots is a mixture of cultures and idioms illustrated with the author’s photographs and painting of rocks. English translations runs side-by-side with the original poems in the Serbo-Croatian language.

Trembling palms, moaning wind, melancholy sobs, gifts of heaven, birds’ laments. If Honjo’s writing has been influenced by contemporary Canadian poetry, it is hard to detect. His imagery and style is unapologetically of the Eastern Europe variety, so no doubt much is lost in translation.

It takes all kinds of poets to make a living culture and it takes courage to enter immigrant life and keep writing not to mention the nerve it takes to self-publish.

“ne pokolebaj se jer kucnuce taj cass”; “Do not hesitate when the moment comes.”


by Hannah Main-van der Kamp, BC BookWorld