The Slovenia Times

Poet and translator Kristina Kočan wins Veronika Prize


Celje - Kristina Kočan has received this year's Veronika Prize for best collection of poetry at an awards ceremony at Celje Castle on Tuesday evening, while Iztok Osojnik was given the Golden Coin of Poetry for lifetime achievements.

Kočan's fourth poetry collection Selišča (Settlements) reflects some of the poet's distinctive stylistic features, including asceticism in verse form, but she has made significant progress in her research of poetic language, especially regarding its sound aspect, the jury wrote.

"Settlements focus on just that, the sonorous side of poetry, which is often overlooked and overshadowed by content. But not in this case - just the opposite, it is upheld by the collection's themes: flora and fauna, physicality, love, motherhood, the passing of time," added the jury, chaired by author Lara Paukovič.

"The themes are now more complex and deeply thought-out than in the poet's previous collections. Dialogue with other poets, names and works is almost completely obsolete, what remains are references to places, but in a much looser manner - what is essential is the almost transcendential, universal feeling, which, in many of the poems, is directly linked to a specific lyrical subject."

Also nominated for the prize were Nataša Velikonja's Prostor Sred Križišč (The Space Amid Crossroads), Milan Jesih's Namreč (As), Ana Svetel's Marmor (Marble), and Jernej Zupančič's Orodje Za Razgradnjo Imperija (Tool for Empire Decay).

The awards ceremony also saw the Junior Veronika Prize for best poem by a secondary-school student being conferred on Ela Potočnik.

The Veronika Prize has been given out by the Celje municipality since 1997, but has long ago surpassed the local boundaries to enjoy the status of national prize.


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