The Slovenia Times

Uroš Zupan wins best essay prize for book honouring poetry


Ljubljana - Uroš Zupan, a poet and translator, is the winner of this year's Rožanc Prize for best collection of essays for Znamenja v Kroženju (Signs in Circulation), which the jury praised as a book of one who is in love with poetry. Zupan, 59, will receive the award at a special ceremony at Trubar's Homestead in Raščica on Saturday.

The collection of essays on Zupan's "encounters" with 15 Slovenian poets that have shaped him is the author's "poetic autobiography, the poet's 'personal map' of Slovenian poetry and of the phenomenon of poetry 'as one of the few reservoirs that preserve humanity'," wrote the five-member jury, chaired by Ifigenija Simonović.

Zupan wrote essays about France Prešeren, Josip Murn, Srečko Kosovel, Edvard Kocbek, Božo Vodušek, Dane Zajc, Gregor Strniša, Tomaž Šalamun, Tomaž Pengov, Milan Jesih, Jure Potokar, Milan Vincetič, Aleš Debeljak, Brane Bitenc and himself.

In the award-winning book, Zupan, whom the jury praised as being very well versed in literature, especially Slovenian poetry, approaches the selected top-quality poems exclusively as a poet, "fenced off from the established interpretive models of ... literary theoreticians and philosophers".

The Marjan Rožanc Cultural Association, which gives out the prize, also decided to give out an honorary award to mark the 30th anniversary of the Rožanc Prize.

It went to Manca Košir, a retired journalism professor, for her 30-year collaboration on the Rožanc Prize, especially for her seven books of essays written as letters, which the association believes represent a special genre of essays and correspondence among outstanding individuals.

Both winners were declared at an event at the Cankarjev Dom arts centre in Ljubljana on Friday evening, when the other four nominees for the Rožanc Prize - Jure Gantar, Tomaž Grušovnik, Irena Štaudohar and Goran Vojnović - were also presented.


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