The Slovenia Times

Erudite and bold, Miklavž Komelj's poetry wins Jenko Prize a second time


This is the second time that Komelj won the Jenko Prize, the accolade given out by the Slovenian Writers' Association for best collection of poems published in the past two years.

The collection is "communicative, erudite, bold, experimental and engaged", the judging panel said.

The author uses a combination of "poetic and logically discussive discourse to re-examine and re-shape the meaning and value of issues vital to modern man".

One of the judges, Goran Dekleva, said that Komelj's poems seek to express the world, while opening doors to a possibility of thinking and feeling differently.

Moreover, he says the poems' message is that one should not succumb to pessimism, according to Dekleva.

Flattered by the praise, Komelj acknowledges the aspirations in the collection, while he has also told the STA in an interview that he had aspired to the "sublime" as well.

He says the collection has the structure of a maze, attempting to "get to grips with a concrete moment through various times".

Komelj, 42, believes poetry should not just describe the world but try to question the mechanisms the world is build on, to redefine them, to establish a "new fundamental relationship with the symbolic".

He is especially honoured to have won the award named after Simon Jenko (1835-1869), a poet he holds dear. He won his first Jenko Prize in 2006 for Hippodrome.

"He is likely the first ever Slovenian poet who underscores a non-anothropocentric perspective in his best poems, while he is also very witty," Komelj said about Jenko in an interview with the STA.

The Jenko Prize comes without a financial reward this year, after a controversy over the sponsor, Honorary Consul of Poland Nadjan Brataševec, prompted the honorary consul to withdraw his support.

The prize was presented on Sunday at a ceremony in Podreča near the north-west city of Kranj, Jenko's birthplace.


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