The Slovenia Times

Slovak poet Mila Haugova wins this year's Vilenica Prize


Born in Budapest in 1942, Haugova is considered one of the most esteemed and prolific Slovak poets and has been widely translated. She appeared as a guest at Vilenica in 2000.

Haugova explores the depths of humaneness, said Aljoša Harlamov, the head of the 2020 Vilenica judging panel, at Thursday's online press conference.

She was born to a Hungarian mother and Slovak father and was raised bilingually, which is why, according to Harlamov, the poet embodies Central Europe in the current circumstances when the existence of the region might be questioned.

Haugova's oeuvre includes 23 poetry collections. She is also a translator and an artist who knows what is like to be an emigrant, having spent nine months living in Canada after the Soviet Union's invasion of former Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Her poetry could be labelled as reflective, imaginary, intellectual, intimate as well as philosophical. In the past few years, her poems have been getting increasingly fragmented and autobiographical, said Harlamov.

The Vilenica Prize has been conferred since 1986 and previous laureates include Milan Kundera, Olga Tokarczuk and Ilma Rakusa. Last year the prize went to Serbian writer Dragan Velikić.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian author in spotlight at this year's festival is Vinko Möderndorfer, an author, poet, playwright and theatre as well as film director or "an artistic polyglot", as described by another acclaimed author Boris A. Novak in the justification.

This year's festival will wander through the changed literary landscape in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The event will take place in the Karst region and elsewhere between 8 and 13 September.


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