The largest and most recognizable international poetry festival in this part of Europe successfully combines poetic words with the promotion of high-quality Slovenian wines. The festival will traditionally take place in the last week of August in the city of Ptuj and many other cities around Slovenia and across its border. This year, Slovenian poetess Kristina Kočan took over the programming reins of the festival.
"This year's festival will be colored by the verses of three excellent central poetic guests, Ilma Rakusa, Eugenijus Ališanka and David Harsent. The festival also brings other powerful contemporary poets, and I would particularly like to highlight some of this year's poets: Joumana Haddad, poet and human rights activist, who was chosen among the 100 most influential Arab women, and Luljeta Lleshanaku, who is also called the pioneer of Albanian poetry and she is certainly a world-class poet and the interesting Marie Ilyashenko, who draws from a wide variety of sources. Slovenian wine will also enrich the festival, there are many wine tastings ahead of us. We have many events awaiting us, including new event formats, at which visitors will certainly be able to find something for themselves and hear something new and exciting."
Kristina Kočan, program manager of the festival
The festival's guests of honor will be Swiss poet Ilma Rakusa and Lithuanian poet Eugenijus Ališanka. The bilingual books of their chosen poetry will be published as part of Beletrina's regular collection.
Uradna otvoritev 27. festivala bo v četrtek, 24. avgusta, na Vrazovem trgu na Ptuju, kjer bo tudi osrednje dogajanje. Organizatorji bodo Dneve poezije in vina sedaj že tradicionalno otvorili z branjem Odprtega pisma Evropi, katerega letošnji avtor je svetovno priznan angleški pesnik David Harsent.
The official opening of the 27th edition of the festival will take place on Thursday, 24 August, at Vraz Square in Ptuj, where the central event will also take place. The organizers will traditionally open the Days of Poetry and Wine with the reading of the Open Letter to Europe, the author of which this year is the world-renowned English poet David Harsent.
“Living like me on a small island that decided to secede from Europe, I feel like my letter to Europe could be of a single word - sorry. I think of the rich European culture as something we share and to which I can contribute. My works have been translated into German, Spanish, French, Greek and Bosnian. However, there is still a sense of loss. The sound of English doors slamming, backs being turned, the sound of the European anthem, a truly depressing and xenophobic scene. The opportunity to write an Open Letter to Europe seems to me like an outstretched hand, a hand that opens a door and needs to be grabbed. And I welcome that."
David Harsent, author of Open Letter to Europe
On Wednesday, 23 August, in Ljubljana, more precisely at Švicarija, we will be able to pay attention to an interesting conversation with the main festival guests - David Harsent and Ilma Rakusa. The conversation will be led by journalist Nina Cijan, who, together with the guests, will ponder, among other things, how the environment affects the creative process and how it shapes unique poetic narratives. The talk will be followed by an audio-visual performance of Laconism of the Wing.
In addition to the aforementioned poets, 16 other poetry guests from all over the world, carefully selected by this year's curator of the festival, the Galician poet Yolanda Castaño, will also perform at the festival. Their selected works will be published in attractive poetry booklets.
The Slovenian Author in focus of 2023 Days of Poetry and Wine is France Forstnerič. In celebration of the 90th anniversary of his birth, the festival will shed light on his rich literary legacy through a discussion and an exhibition.
Ptuj will host most of the festival events, which attract more than five thousand visitors every year. The Grand Evening Readings at which all the guests of the festival will be presenting their poetry to the audience, will be held in Vraz Square (Vrazov trg). The organisers are also preparing a substantial accompanying programme with literary workshops, wine tastings, culinary events and evening concerts. We will be able to enjoy the rhythms of the unique Viennese jazz quartet June and October, Thursday evening will be enlivened by the Slovenian music group Batista Cadillac, on Friday we will listen to a concert by the young Ljubljana quintet Regen, followed by an ethno jazz group Čompa on Saturday.
Traditionally all of the events at the festival, except for the two culinary events, will be free of charge, and executed both in Slovenian and English language.