Days of Poetry and Wine 2016

21.-23. August 2016, Evenings before Days, different locations around Slovenia and abroad

24.-27. August 2016, Days of Poetry and Wine, Ptuj


First it was Medana in Goriška brda, then it was Ptuj. Wherever it was that poetry was brought to by poets and other artists from all over the world in the past 20 years, it became part of the genius loci and the community, the location’s trademark. For the duration of the festival, Ptuj becomes the European poetry capital. As the home of the European Versopolis platform, the city ties together thirteen international poetry festivals based all across Europe, from Scandinavia to Italy and Macedonia. This year Versopolis has also become an English-language online European Review for Poetry, Books and Culture (, bringing different parts of Europe together through poetry and promoting understanding of local cultures and events – for the local and the individual are the common denominators of poetry and the grapevine: just as a poem is rooted in the most private parts of the author’s personal and collective biographies, wine stems from the specific characteristics of the land planted with its vines. And it is this individuality, singularity, uniqueness of each participant, each poem, each event and each moment that our festival is all about. Festival visitors and guests – we are all wakeful, active participants for whom the festival presents an opportunity to meet, experience and understand, regardless of whether poetry is read in Macedonian, English, Slovenian or Korean. There is something that connects us all, beyond the particularities of our languages; and it is this “something” that we are trying to evoke, letting it speak in the various formats present at the festival.


This year’s festival will begin with an international translation workshop in Jeruzalem that will host Slovenian poets and their Canadian colleagues (Focus 2016: Canada) writing in either of the official languages of their country. Evenings before Days will be held at as many as eight locations, both in Slovenia and across the border. The festival’s opening ceremony will be a compelling event as well, lasting all day. In collaboration with Dravske elektrarne Maribor, we will organize a day-long boat trip (titled: Water, Speak!) on the Drava river that will take us from Fala past the Maribor Water Tower to the opening ceremony in Ptuj. Water as the source of life and a never-ending source of poetic ideas will also inspire internationally acclaimed light artist Marco Nereo Rotelli who will paint the night-time silhouette of the Ptuj Castle with light quotes from the participating poets as well as carry out a number of other performances on the Drava river.

This year’s selection of music is outstanding as well: Magnifico, Katja Šulc & band, Fräulein Hona and finally Neisha with her band. We will also be able to attend the openings of Rudi Skočir’s exhibition A Tribute to Love in Majšperk and Samira Kentrić’s Balkanalia at the Gema gallery, and so on and so forth.


Renowned vintners, most of them from the Štajerska region of Slovenia, will once again fill the wine altar at Vraz Square, run by the coordinator of wine tastings Staša Cafuta Trček, primarily with wines produced over the last year. New wines will be presented, some of them ecological and biodynamic. At 19.00 on each day of the festival, we invite you for a tasting tour of the Štajerska region and the coast, with the following fine producers: Ptujska klet, Kobal Wines, Turčan, SiSi, Gönc, Verus, Gaube, Steyer, P&F Jeruzalem Ormož, M-enostavno dobra vina, Marjan Simčič, Ščurek, Frešer (biological production), Zorjan in Guerila (biodynamically produced). This year's wine program will bring even more: wine altar and Wicked tastings! will be accompanied by a wine quiz and a wine workshop, both lead by a wine journalist Jože Rozman.


The poets participating at this year’s festival and coming from 15 different countries were selected by two curators: Swedish editor Per Bergström and Slovenian poet Veronika Dintinjana. Every evening of the festival will be dedicated to one of the four guests of honour, Vlada Urošević from Macedonia, Veno Taufer from Slovenia, Charles Simic from the US and Ko Un from South Korea. There will be as many as 12 private readings, which are held in beautiful private spaces, such as courtyards or gardens, generously opened to the public by the people of Ptuj. 

This year's guests are: 

Guests of honour:
Charles Simic (US)
Veno Taufer (SI)
Vlada Urošević (MK)

Focus: Canada
George Elliott Clarke
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine
Pierre Nepveu
Gillian Sze

Ana Brnardić (HR)
Zehra Çırak (DE)
Ida Linde (SE)
Els Moors (BE)
Sigbjørn Skåden (NO)

Resident poet:
Maria Seisenbacher (AT)

Faraj Bayrakdar (SE/SY)
Kristin Berget (NO)
Gloria Gervitz (MX)
Tibor Hrs Pandur (SI)
Maurizio Mattiuzza (IT)
Fiston Mwanza Mujila (CD)

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Days of Poetry and Wine celebrate 20 years in 2016 - visit us at Ptuj, the capital of poetry, and celebrate with us!

Foto: Boris B. Voglar 2015