Tomaž Šalamun Wins Prestigious 'Struga Poetry Evenings' Award

Salamun

Slovenian poet and International Writing Program alum Tomaž Šalamun received the 2009 award for best poetic achievement at this year's Struga Poetry Evenings festival. Since 1962, the Struga Poetry Evenings have been held in honor of the Miladinov brothers in Struga, Macedonia. It is one of the oldest, largest, and most renowned poetry festivals in the world. The 48th Struga Poetry Evenings (SPE) opened August 20th, in Struga with a ceremony that included a traditional recital of the poem T'ga za jug (Longing for The South), a concert by pianist Simon Trpceski and the international poetry recital named "Poetry Meridians". Salamun planted a tree in the Park of Poetry and held a press conference.

Šalamun's poetry was described by festival director Danilo Kocevski as "a kind of rebellion against cliches, search for new space of the poetry language and expression. Close to everyday life, linguistically open, communicative and simple, but also complex, metaphysically deep, revealing strong deep, unexpected vaults of human existence."

Tomaž Šalamun was born in Zagreb, Croatia, raised in Koper, Slovenia, and now makes his home in Ljubljana. He has published 25 volumes of poems in Slovenia and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. The Selected Poems Of Tomaž Šalamun, edited and in large part translated by Charles Simic, was the poet's debut collection in English, brought out in 1988 as part of Ecco Press's prestigious Modern European Poetry series. It was followed by The Shepherd, The Hunter (Pedernal, 1992), The Four Questions Of Melancholy (White Pine Press, 1997), Feast (Harcourt, 2000), and The Book for My Brother (Harvest Books, 2006). He was a participant in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 1987.

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