European Poet of Freedom International Literature Festival #7 is behind us. Over 3 days, we held 10 meetings with poets from 9 countries in 7 venues across Gdańsk. We invited our audience to 2 poetry and music soirees in the former Shipyard area and presented 2 artistic interventions and a sound performance. We also prepared a poetry reading workshop and the official Gdańsk Literary Award gala.

Numbers facilitate storytelling, but the truly important things lie elsewhere. We will remember feelings of surprise during the artistic part, curiosity inspired by the conversations, and touching moments at the gala – the Jury’s beautiful congratulatory address and the winners’ speeches.

European Poet of Freedom International Literature Festival #7 (9-11 June 2022, Gdańsk)

Photo: Bogna Kociumbas-Kos

We met amazing guests – poets, translators, artists and researchers of poetry. Once again, we had the opportunity to talk to female poets associated with the Versopolis network but this time, our foreign guests also included immigrant artists united in ICORN International Network of Cities of Refuge.

Here is the list of guests of the 2022 European Poet of Freedom Festival: Anna Adamowicz, Souzan Ali (Syria; ICORN), Kacper Bartczak, Miłosz Biedrzycki, Wojtek Blecharz, Iryna Cilyk (Ukraine; Versopolis), Dorota Dobrew, Michał Domagalski, Cezary Domarus, Anja Zag Golob (Slovenia; EPF Award), Marlena Gruda, Dorota Horodyska, Petr Hruška (Czechia; EPF Award), Weronika Janeczko, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Radek Jurczak, Kateryna Kalytko (Ukraine; EPF Award), Aneta Kamińska, Eka Kevanishvili (Georgia; Versopolis), Marianna Kiyanovska (Ukraine; EPF Award), Barbara Klicka, Jakub Kornhauser, Zofia Król, Luljeta Lleshanaku (Albania; EPF Award), Magdalena Kicińska, Artur Maćkowiak, Honorata Martin, Joanna Mueller, Franciszek Nastulczyk, Aaiún Nin (Angola; ICORN), Joanna Orska, Edward Pasewicz, Adam Pomorski, Jolanta Prochowicz, Agata Puwalska, Bartosz Sadulski, Zuzanna Sala, Patrycja Sikora, Dominik Strycharski, Karol Tymiński, Katarzyna Trzeciak.

The authors of this year’s programme are Marta Dziewańska, Weronika Janeczko and Barbara Klicka.

European Poet of Freedom Literary Award of the City of Gdańsk, 2020–22 edition

Photo: Bogna Kociumbas-Kos

The poets shortlisted for this year’s EPF award were:

Anja Golob, Stage Directions to Breathing, translated from Slovenian into Polish by Marlena Gruda and Miłosz Biedrzycki;

Petr Hruška, We Wanted to Save Ourselves. Selected Poems, translated from Czech into Polish by Dorota Dobrew and Franciszek Nasturczyk;

Kateryna Kalytko, Nobody Knows Us Here, and We Know Nobody, translated from Ukrainian into Polish by Aneta Kamińska;

Marianna Kiyanovska, The Voices of Babyn Yar, translated from Ukrainian into Polish by Adam Pomorski;

Luljeta Lleshanaku, Water and Carbon, translated from Albanian into Polish by Dorota Horodyska.

The winners are Marianna Kiyanovska (Ukraine) with her translator Adam Pomorski and Luljeta Lleshanaku (Albania) with her translator Dorota Horodyska.

The winners were selected by a Jury composed of: Anna Czekanowicz, Krzysztof Czyżewski (chairman), Paweł Huelle, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Stanisław Rosiek, Anda Rottenberg, Beata Stasińska, Olga Tokarczuk and secretary Andrzej Jagodziński (who did not take part in the vote).

We hope that, as the Festival’s public and co-authors, you take away precious thoughts and moments from this year’s edition. We also hope that you will find many words of meaning as you read the shortlisted volumes.

See you in Gdańsk in 2 years – and in the meantime, let us keep reading poetry and allow ourselves to be moved!

The volumes published in the European Poet of Freedom series are available from City Culture Institute’s online shop →

The European Poet of Freedom Award is funded by the City of Gdańsk and organised by the City Culture Institute.