Kapka Kassabova is a poet and writer. She was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1973, emigrated with her family to New Zealand in the 1990s, and since 2005 has lived in Scotland. She studied at Sofia's French Lycee, and later French, Russian and English Literature at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington.
BORDER is a journey across one of Europe's most hidden regions and a study of how borders shape people's lives. It won the 2018 British Academy Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, the Edward Stanford Dolman Book of the Year, the 2017 Saltire Society Book of the Year, and the inaugural 2018 Highland Book Prize. It was shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, the Duff Cooper Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the Baillie-Gifford Prize, the Gordon Burn Prize, and the American National Circle of Critics Awards.
STREET WITHOUT A NAME (2008), a coming-of-age journey through Bulgaria, was short-listed for the Dolman Travel Awards. The tango memoir TWELVE MINUTES OF LOVE (2011) was short-listed for the Scottish Book Awards.
Kassabova has written for The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, The Scottish Review of Books, Granta, 1843 Magazine, New Statesman, World Literature Today, Tin House, and Vogue.
photograph by Marti Friedlander