The Slovenia Times

Meta Kušar Wins Veronika Poetry Prize


The jury said that Kušar's poetry collection Vrt (Garden) is a sentential collage of lyrical intuition, dream-like images, and reflections on the soul mixed with flashes of people, the condition of today's world, her nation, and poetry in general.

Kušar told the STA that she accepts what is the first poetry award for her with heartfelt joy: "Lets say it is brush with which I will sweep away any animosity when it is heaped before me."

She described "Garden" as a collection of poems about love that evoke a passion in readers that does not die.

The short list also included Jan Krmelj, Nataša Velikonja, Tone Škrjanc, and Cvetka Lipuš.

The Veronika Prize is one of the most important Slovenian literary awards, which is given out every year by the municipality of Celje and comes with a check of EUR 4,000.

Its name originates from the 15th-century legend of Veronika Deseniška, the forbidden love of Frederick II, count of Celje. She was the subject of the first Slovenian witch trial. Although she was found innocent, she was murdered soon afterwards.

Among the most acclaimed winners of the award are Milan Jesih, Ervin Fritz, Tone Pavček, Jože Snoj, and Ciril Zlobec, who was the awarding jury's first president and celebrated his 90th birthday at tonight's event.

Another highlight of the event will be the announcement of the Gold Coin laureate, an accolade for lifetime work.

This year's winner is poet, painter, and editor Gustav Januš, a member of the Slovenian minority from Austria. The jury said that his work is an important contribution to Slovenian literature, bridging together the Slovenian and Carinthian cultures.

The jury said that his modern, free-verse poetry captures motives from his home country, using subtle irony and satire to evoke a lyrical atmosphere. He explores his Carinthian reality, while confronting essential questions of human existence.


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