Kapka Kassabova was born and raised in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s, and educated at the French College in Sofia. Her family emigrated to New Zealand just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and she spent her late teens and twenties in New Zealand where she published two poetry collections and the Commonwealth-Writers Prize-winner for debut fiction in Asia-Pacific, Reconnaissance. Her travel essays on Berlin and Delhi were awarded the NZ Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year disctinction.

 

In 2004, Kapka moved to Scotland and published Street Without a Name (Portobello, 2008). It is a story of the last Communist childhood and an unsentimental journey across post-communist Bulgaria, and was short-listed for the Prix Européen du Livre and the Dolman Travel Book Award.

 

The music memoir Twelve Minutes of Love (Portobello 2011), a tale of Argentine tango, obsession and the search for home, was short-listed for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards.

 

Villa Pacifica (Alma Books 2011), a novel with an equatorial setting, came out at the same time.

 

Her essays and articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, Vogue, The Sunday Times, The Scottish Review of Books, The NZ Listener, Granta.com, and BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3.

 

Her UK poetry collections are Someone else's life (Bloodaxe 2003) and Geography for the Lost (Bloodaxe 2007) and her poetry has been widely anthologised in New Zealand and the UK.

 

Border: a journey to the edge of Europe, is out in 2017. It is a portrait of a little-known corner of Europe, and a meditation on the borderlines that exist between countries, between cultures, between people, and within each of us.

 

Kapka Kassabova lives in the Scottish Highlands.

 

photo by Marti Friedlander