Sofia FilipovaSofia Filipova

(24 December 1930 – 17 January 2022)

Sofia Filipova was born in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria on 24 December 1930. She held a degree in Bulgarian philology from Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ and a PhD from the Research Institute of Education. She has further specialised in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Filipova has worked for many years as a teacher in Bulgarian language and literature in the National School for Ancient Languages and Cultures ‘St Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher’ in Sofia, and was Research Associate in the Department for Methodology of Literary Education at Sofia University.

Sofia Filipova was a Bulgarian poet, editor, and literary critic; retired professional educator. In 1993 she wrote and introduced the first collection of tests in Literature for the 7th grade in the Bulgarian educational system, which marked the beginning of the new system for checking and evaluating knowledge. In addition as a study aid, she authored educational film scripts for Bulgarian classics like Geo Milev, Yavorov, and Hristo Smirnensky, which were screened at schools, and her monograph "Formation of an aesthetic attitude to a literary work" (1975; 1986) became a kind of textbook for teachers of literature, directing the construction of a broad view of literary phenomena, combining literary studies with aesthetics. Since 2014, she has been a permanent member of the jury at the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" International Foundation for selecting the most prominent teacher of Bulgarian language and literature for the year. For her long-established service in the field of education and culture, Filipova has received a number of certificates "Merit for Bulgarian Education" (from the Union of Bulgarian Teachers, the Union of Bulgarian Writers, etc.), medals and honours, incl. the Order of Cyril and Methodius - 2nd degree from the State Council of the Republic of Bulgaria.

She was the author of a ground-breaking Речник по стихознание (Dictionary of Verse Studies, 2004; reprinted in 2010), and has written numerous articles, and essays on haikai poetry, reviews, monographs, textbooks, and poetry collections. In 2008 Filipova co-founded, together with Angelina Vasileva, the Sofia Autumn Salon of Poetry and was co-editor of its electronic magazine Поетични страници (Poetic Pages). She was co-author together with Alexandra Ivoilova of the poetry collection Отгласи (Resonance, 2009) – a renga-like questions and answers. In 2019 Filipova published her solo poetry collection Жажди (Thursts, Sofia).

Sofia Filipova was a long-standing and very energetic member of the Bulgarian Haiku Union and served as its chairwoman (2014-2020). In 2013 she initiated the BHU journal Хайку свят (Haiku World) and was its editor-in-chief (2013-2022). In addition to haiku and related forms, the journal publishes theoretical articles on the aesthetics of haiku, announcements about new haikai books, events and various contests. In 2016 Petar Plamenov and Sofia Filipova held a conference on the theme “Wind Bearers—Aesthetics and Philosophy of Haiku Poetry” at Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’. Although already in her early 90s, Sofia Filipova continued to work on essays, reviews and book/textbook prefaces, edited with passion the BHU journal and had regular meeting with the Bulgarian haiku poets. She died in her home on 17 January 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Selected haiku:


И ето пак листа

ръждиви, златни, жълти …

А ние – същите ли сме?

And here are the leaves again

rusty, golden, yellow ...

And we - are we the same?

Sofia Filipova


есенните клади –

по пътя ни обгарят.

They flare up

the autumn bonfires –

they burn us along the way.

Alexandra Ivoylova

Толкова крехък е пътят

под нашите стъпки.

Ще издържи ли?

So fragile is the road

under our feet.

Will it last?

Sofia Filipova

Отронва се камъче.

Звънти пропастта.

Още стъпка …

A pebble rolls down.

The chasm rings.

One more step ...

Alexandra Ivoylova


(Sofia Filipova, Ivoylova, Alexandra. Отгласи (Resonance); Sofia, 2009).


mournful sun

peeps through the window

vague memories


we swallowed snowflakes

until we were full

we did not choke


only one fish

on the plate

plenty for a lifetime

(Отвъд думите/Beyond Words, bilingual haiku anthology, BHU, The British Haiku Society, Haiku Club-Plovdiv; Sofia, 2018),


two seagulls dancing blues

among the glasses

of our last night gin


little seashell,

how could you hold

such a deep echo

(Морето/The Sea, bilingual haiku anthology, BHU; Sofia, 2021)


Хайку свят, issues 5-6/2019-2020, publ. by Iztok-Zapad, Sofia, 2020; pp.167-168.