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An interview with Bogusława Sochańska, translator of Yahya Hassan’s poetry

In 2016, Danish author Yahya Hassan’s collection of poems, “Digte” was shortlisted for the Polish literary prize ‘Gdansk European Poet of Freedom Award’. Danish Culture Institute’s director in Poland, Boguslawa Sochanska, had recommended him for the prize in her capacity as translator. Yahya Hassan did not win the award, but the nomination resulted in a Polish publication of “Digte”  – in Polish “Yahya Hassan: Wiersze” translated by Boguslawa Sochanska. This was a great achievement since not much poetry is published in Poland from (…)

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Free Words: A Handbook for Individual and Group Exercises

Freedom seems to be one of the most basic yet desirable and prominent values, which keeps reappearing in poetry. No wonder a new EPoF publication is entitled “Free Words: A Handbook for Individual and Group Exercises” Grzegorz Jankowicz and Zofia Król, the editors, perceive the bond between freedom and poetry as something natural and indisputable. Their book is a real creative masterpiece, as it gathers interviews, essays and comments concerning both authors and translators, but most importantly, all crucial information (…)

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What poetry are we going to read in 2018?

The European Poet of Freedom Literary Award is granted every two years, which means that the upcoming edition of the festival will take place in 2018. However, we already know the countries from which the nominations come from, namely: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Armenia, Moldova, Finland, Island, Great Britain, and Netherlands. The nominated works must be written by living authors who come from one of 49 European countries. Moreover, the pieces had to be published in authors’ native or minority language. Nominations (…)

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Walking on Stilts: Four Days at the European Poet of Freedom Festival

Jonathan Edwards It’s difficult to walk on stilts. It’s difficult to walk on stilts on cobblestones. It’s difficult to walk on stilts when it’s a bright day, and you’re wearing a floor-length (even in stilts) heavy tartan coat, and you’re anxious about falling off your stilts, and the sweat is making your clown make-up run into your eyes. It’s difficult to walk on stilts when you can’t wipe the clown make-up from your eyes because your hands are busy beating (…)

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The first English-language selection of Sergey Stratanovsky

Sergey Stratanovsky’s Muddy River is the first comprehensive English-language selection of a contemporary existentialist Russian master. Taken together, the poems express the full range of Stratanovsky’s verse, drawing on seven collections that represent half a century of writing. Muddy River is the essential Anglophone introduction to Stratanovsky’s oeuvre, its now satirical, now pslamic, ever-searching poetics. The selection was made and translated by J. Kates – a poet, literary translator and the president and co-director of Zephyr Press, a non-profit press that (…)

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Ana Blandiana has won the title of the European Poet of Freedom 2016

Ana Blandiana has won the title of the European Poet of Freedom 2016 for the collection “Mea Patria A4”. She was awarded with a statuette and 100.000 PLN. Joanna Kornaś-Warwas has been awarded with a statuette and 10.000 PLN for the translation of Blandiana’s book into Polish. Ana Blandiana, though a legendary fighter for political and social freedom in Romania, won the competition for other reasons; as the Jury explained in their statement, her incessant poetic development, exploration of and (…)

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The European Poet of Freedom: programme details

Click here for programme details The European Poet of Freedom is the only Polish festival dedicated to the latest European poetry. During the Festival we announce the winner of a most unique award – for the volume of foreignlanguage poetry translated into Polish. For this reason alone it is worth joining us for the three days in March. A poem allows us to see the world and ourselves from a different perspective, broadens our horizons, frees us from stereotypes, preconceptions and cognitive (…)

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The Seven Adventures Club

General description: The European Poet of Freedom Festival welcomes all children to join the Seven Adventures Club. In preparation for the forthcoming festival the City Culture Institute has prepared seven journeys inspired by the home countries of the nominees for The European Poet of Freedom Award: Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Romania and Russia. Meetings and workshops combining various artistic and creative activities will enable our little guests to experience cultural and literary heritage of the nominees. The meetings of (…)

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Gdańsk: The City of Poetry. The European Poet of Freedom Festival takes place 17th to 19th of March 2016

17th to 19th March Gdańsk will become the poetic heart of Europe. The City Culture Institute will be hosting literary meetings, artistic events and invites everyone to experience the poetry created by our international guests during the International European Poet of Freedom Festival. The climax of the Festival is awarding The City of Gdansk Literary Award The European Poet of Freedom one poet of the seven nominees and his/her Polish translator. This year’s nominees are: Vanni Bianconi from Italy, Anna (…)

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Poetry has a lot to do with freedom. Interview with Vanni Bianconi

In August 2015 Vanni Bianconi, one of this year’s nominees for the European Poet of Freedom Award, visited Gdańsk and talked to Michał Sowiński and Martyna Nowicka about freedom in poetry and his favourite Polish poets. Bianconi is not only a poet but also a translator and the artistic director of Babel, a festival of literature and translation. In the interview Bianconi reveals his broad interest in European poetry and discusses his experiences of the re-translation of poems already translated. (…)

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Interview with Olga Tokarczuk – a jury member for the European Poet of Freedom Award

Michał Sowiński in conversation with Olga Tokarczuk, a new member of the Award Jury, on what poetry is and what significance it has for literature and politics.  Michał Sowiński: Why did you decide to join the Award Jury? Do you read a lot of poetry? Olga Tokarczuk: I think I’ll make a good addition to the jury because I rarely read poetry. I assume, however, that good poetry is a universal language which does not leave even laypeople like me (…)

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Coverage from European Poet of Freedom Award 2014

Dorta Jagić, Croatian poet, won European Poet of Freedom award 2014 for her book „Couch on the Market” (2011). The jury put the emphasis on the female freedom’s affirmation, present in Jagić’s work. The poet received the award of 100 000 PLN. Since the European Poet of Freedom 2012, the translators also receive the award. This year, alongside the poet, her translator Małgorzata Wierzbicka won the price of 10 000 PLN. – Dorta Jagić’s poems are the affirmation of the female freedom, (…)

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