Nobody Knows the Language Here

Jan 09, 2016

Summary: Poet Svetlana Lilova’s Metaphysical Dictionary is a collection of psychologically and emotionally acute poems, compiled and intertwined as dictionary definitions.

January 8, 2016, Toronto  –

When Svetlana Lilova arrived in Canada as a teen, she didn’t know a single word of English. A dictionary quickly became her indispensable companion as she strove to understand the world around her.

With the publication of her first book of poetry, Metaphysical Dictionary, the older and wiser Lilova has reversed the flow. A collection of 250 very short poems, framed as term and definition and alphabetically sorted, Metaphysical Dictionary re-interprets the language through a lexicon of implications, hints, and emotions.

A certified psychotherapist as well as a poet, Lilova explains that her two practices are intertwined. “I began to compile my dictionary as I deepened my understanding that people are always searching for the essential – the essence of a problem, beyond and beneath its circumstantial specifics. In the process we often discard the given meaning of a word and replace it with something more resonant. And that’s what I do with these poems: each one is a tiny quest for resonance, a private language.”

Published by Dumagrad Books of Toronto, Metaphysical Dictionary is finding an eager readership beyond the usual audience for poetry, serving as an inspiration to those who seek self-understanding through their own journals, diaries, sketchbooks or scrapbooks.

Metaphysical Dictionary will be available for $14.95 on February 2, 2016 from select Toronto bookstores and boutiques, from Amazon, and directly from the publisher at


Metaphysical Dictionary
Svetlana Lilova; illustrated by Graham Falk
96 pp, Trade paper
$14.95 Cdn / $12.95 US