Nominations were announced on December 22nd 2014. The jury had chosen from among poets of seven countries, which were drawn on March 2014, during the 3rd edition of European Poet of Freedom Festival.
Marta Bednarska from the City Culture Institute in Gdańsk explains that the names of foreign poets were suggested by their Polish translators, who could indicate up to three authors. Then, the poets’ profiles and samples of translated works were presented to the jury, which had the final word on nominations.
The poems were evaluated by the following jury: Krzysztof Czyżewski, Paweł Huelle, Andrzej Jagodziński, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Krzysztof Pomian, Stanisław Rosiek, Anda Rottenberg and Olga Tokarczuk (she replaced Agnieszka Holland).
The books of nominated authors will be fully translated into Polish and published next year by the City Culture Institute and the Słowo/Obraz Terytoria publishing house. Furthermore, the jury will meet again to choose the winner, who will be officially presented during the fourth edition of European Poet of Freedom Award, in March 2016.
Nominations for European Poet of Freedom Award went to:
- Yahya Hassan (Denmark) - for "Yahya Hassan. Digte", working title for Polish translation "Yahya Hassan. Wiersze" (translation by Bogusława Sochańska);
- Lidija Dimkovska (Macedonia) - for "pH Neutralna za zivotot i smrtta", working title for Polish translation "Obojętna na życie i śmierć", (translation by Danuta Cirlić-Straszyńska);
- Daniel Jonas (Portugal) - for "Passageiro Frequente", working title for Polish translation "Częsty przechodzień" (translation Michał Lipszyc);
- Siergiej Stratanowski (Russia) - for "Graffiti" (translation by Adam Pomorski);
- Anna Blandiana (Romania) - for "Patria mea A4", working title for Polish translation "Moja ojczyzna A4" (translation by Joanna Kornaś-Warwas);
- Aniko Polgar (Hungary) - for "Regeszno koromcipoben", working title for Polish translation "Archeolożka w czółenkach" (translation by Anna Górecka)
- Vanni Bianconi (Włochy) - for "Il passo dell'uomo" (translation by Joanna Wajs).
Yahya Hassan is a Palestinian born in Denmark and he is the youngest poet that has ever been nominated for this award. He started in 2013, aged 18, with his books of poems "Yahya Hassan. Digte", that has been sold in Denmark in over a hundred thousand copies.
Lidija Dimkovska from the Republic of Macedonia publishes since 1992 and her poetry is often awarded and translated into English, German, Slovene, Polish, Slovak, Bulgarian and Romanian.
Portuguese Daniel Jonas has already written and published six collections of poems. Local readers and critics say he is one of the most original and independent voices of contemporary Portuguese poetry. Jonas also works as a pedagogue, playwright and translator, focusing mainly on Anglo-Saxon and francophone literature.
The Russian poet, Siergiej Stratanowski, from St-Petersburg is one of the most important personalities in the history of Russian samizdat (from Russian "self-publishing", a name for literature published illegally in USSR) and formation of the so-called unofficial culture, after 1968.
Anna Blandiana from Romania is an author that engages in the fight for civil equality in her country. Before 1989 her books were banned and withdrew from libraries because of her public opposition to Ceausescu’s regime. Blandiana is the most recognized Romanian poet, her work has been translated into at least 24 foreign languages.
Aniko Polgar is a Hungarian poet living in Slovenia. In her poetry she focuses above all on woman’s communitarian experience, drawing from Greek and Roman mythology.
Vanni Bianconi from Italy touches the problems of emotional and language exile, often in context of the recent and difficult European history. He is a laureate of the Leon Schiller award (2009) for his first book of poems "Ora prima. Sei poesie lunghe", where he dedicates a poem to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The city of Gdańsk has established the international award of the European Poet of Freedom in 2008. The award – a statuette and 100 thousand polish zlotys – goes every two years to the European poet who writes about ‘the freedom, understood in personal, political and religious terms and as a right to intellectual, emotional and physical expression’ in the most original way. The award for the translator amounts to 10 thousand polish zlotys.
In 2010, a Belorussian poet Uładzimier Arłou won the first edition of the award for "Prom przez kanał La Manche" in translation by Adam Pomorski. Two years later, the award went to a German poet Durs Gruenbein for his book "Mizantrop na Capri", translated by Andrzej Kopacki. In 2014 the title was won by a Croatian Dorta Jagić for "Kanapa na rynku" in translation of Małgorzata Wierzbicka.
Source: PAP, www.europejskipoetawolnosci.pl, edited by mg, 27th December 2014
Translated by Agata Wissuwa, 8th January 2015