The Slovenia Times

Author Veno Taufer dies

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Poet Veno Taufer (1933-2023).
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
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Veno Taufer, the acclaimed Slovenian author, translator and editor who is credited with starting the Vilenica international literary festival, has died, aged 90.

Taufer, a native of Ljubljana, was many things: a poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic, translator and editor. He chaired PEN Slovenia and PEN International's Writers for Peace committee.

He started publishing his poems in a literary journal in 1956, and two years later his first poetry collection Svinčene Zvezde (Leaden Stars) was released.

He published more than a dozen poetry collections as well as several plays and collections of essays. In 1996, he won the Prešeren Prize, Slovenia's top award in culture, and in 2011, he received the prestigious Golden Coin award for his poetic body of work and contribution to the Slovenian language and culture.

He was one of the country's finest literary translators, having translated into Slovenian the works of the greats, such as T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats and Ted Hughes.

In addition to English, he also translated from Serbian, Croatian and Macedonian. In 1976, he took home the Sovre Prize for best literary translation, Slovenia's oldest and most prominent such award.

In the mid-1980s, his idea for the international literary festival Vilenica came to life and since then, the festival has made a name for itself as one of the key Central European literary forums.

Taufer was also actively involved in Slovenia's independence and democratisation efforts in the 1980s, and after the country gained independence in 1991, he worked at the culture and foreign ministries for some time.

He received the country's Golden Order of Merit in 2005 and a number of international awards. He was a regular member of the Academie Europeenne de Poesie (European Academy of Poetry).

According to his Wikipedia page, Taufer died on 20 May. The news of his death was announced by the Slovenian Writers' Association on 22 May.


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