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April 12, 2023

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Mijatović Looks at Humanity in Conflict as a песник (poet)

A poet and translator, Milica Mijatović ’18 is ready to step into the international spotlight with her new chapbook, “War Food,” and guest appearance at the Cork International Poetry Festival in Cork, Ireland.

Born in Brčko, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mijatović immigrated to the United States with her family as a young girl. The family relocated to Akron, Ohio, but Mijatović spent most summers with her grandparents and extended family back home.

“My summers spent in Brčko were influential, because I got to be home, surrounded by family and friends, in a place where I could speak my native language, where I could learn more about where I’m from, my culture and history, and really learn more about myself,” said Mijatović.

Located in Southeastern Europe, Brčko, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has a long history of conflict. After a turbulent and bloody 90s, the city is now free of war and self-governing.

“I think it’s a stereotype of immigrant parents that they push their kids into careers that may not be the best for them, like being an attorney or doctor,” said Mijatović. “My dad was adamant that my education was my job, but my parents have always encouraged my sisters and me to do what makes us happy.”

Despite developing a love of writing at an early age, Mijatović never really thought of a career in the arts. When she discovered Charles Simic, a Serbian-American poet, it was a turning point in her life.

“He’s Serbian like me, so he comes from the same area of the world that I do, and it was a moving moment for me when I found out more in depth who he was,” said Mijatović. “I found that out in high school, and that’s sort of the moment I learned what poetry was or could be.”

When looking at colleges, Mijatović felt a deep connection with Capital right away. During her first visit to campus, she bonded with her future mentor. “I remember sitting in Professor Griffith’s office with my Dad and he asked me what I thought about something,” said Mijatović. “I felt like my opinion really mattered and I was in the right place.”

“I actually knew Mil even before she enrolled at Capital, as she attended one of my classes during a campus visit. I could tell even then that she was extremely talented, and she did not disappoint, becoming one of the best English majors I have known,” said Kevin Griffith, professor of English. “She is the kind of driven person who excels at everything she does. And now she is on the cusp of a career as a major poet, one who already has had international success.”

While at Capital, Mijatović was actively engaged in campus activities, including the Gerhold Lecture in the Humanities. The experience of connecting directly with professionals in her field continued to inspire her throughout her time as an undergraduate student.

After Capital, Mijatović was accepted into the prestigious Boston University Master of Fine Arts in Poetry program. Out of all the M.F.A. programs, Boston was at the top of her list.

Mijatović’s work has been published in Santa Ana River Review, The Night Heron Bark, and Rattle, among others. Her upcoming chapbook, “War Food,” is a collection of poetry deeply inspired by her own experiences in a war-torn area.

“The poems in ‘War Food’ are a collection of dreams and stories and people, both real and imaginary, that come from the same place I do, a place that was riddled with war most recently in the ’90s,” said Mijatović. “Growing up bi-continentally allowed me to, as cliche as it might be, experience the best and worst of both worlds. ‘War Food’ is one result of that.”

In May 2023, Mijatović will travel overseas to participate in the annual Cork International Poetry Festival. She will read poems from “War Food” and participate in the “Poetry in a Time of War – What Use is Poetry” roundtable discussion with poet and festival director Patrick Cotter and poets Carolyn Forché and Suji Kwock Kim.

For more information about Milica Mijatović, visit

For more information about the Cork International Poetry Festival, visit

For more information about Creative Writing at Capital, visit