The Slovenia Times

Vilenica Literary Festival Gets Under Way

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Tonight's opening ceremony in the town of Se┼żana will pay tribute to Slovenian writer, poet and playwright Milan Jesih, the author in the focus this year.

On the occasion, the Council of Europe Initiative Fellowship for Writers in Residence will be presented to Ukrainian writer Kateryna Kalytko.

She won over the judging panel with her short stories on the theme of memories and anxieties as consequences of great social traumas.

The culmination of the annual festival is a ceremony in the cave near the village of Lipica that gave the festival its name at which the EUR 10,000 Vilenica Prize is presented.

This year's laureate is Czech writer Jachym Topol. He will receive the accolade on Saturday, on the eve of the conclusion of the festival.

An international judging panel will also select a winner of the Vilenica Crystal for best contribution to the Vilenica Almanach.

The theme chosen for this year's festival is resonating space, that is how space influences literature.

The topic will be discussed at Thursday's round table in Lipica featuring Bosnian American author Aleksandar Hemon, Blerina Rogova Gaxha from Kosovo and Orfhlaith Foyle from Ireland.

This time the country in focus is India. An anthology of Indian writing will be released bringing authors who write in some of India's 24 official languages.

A debate on Indian literature will be held in Ljubljana on Friday, featuring Several Indian authors, including Hariprasad Das, K. Sachidanandan and Sitanshu Yashaschandra.

A collection presenting all the Vilenica laureates so far has been released for the anniversary edition.

A selection of 115 of Jesih's post-modernist poems has been published in English translation in a book titled "Selected Poems" by Dalkey Archive Press of the US.

Focused explicitly on Central Europe at the start, the Vilenica Festival has later expanded geographically although it continues to place special emphasis on Central European authors.

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