Three authors shortlisted for Cankar Prize

Vrhnika – One of the three authors shortlisted for the Cankar Prize will be honoured for the most original literary work written in 2021, as the award – dedicated to Slovenian author Ivan Cankar – will be given out in Vrhnika, his birthplace, on Sunday for the third year running.

Shortlisted are Nina Dragičević for To Telo, Pokončno (This Body, Upright), a collection of poems which ponders on the poor social position of women, especially lesbians.

The book has already won Dragičević the Jenko Prize for best poetry collection, which is given out by the Slovenian Writers’ Association.

Simona Semenič is vying for the award with Tri Igre za Punce (Three Plays for Girls), a collection of three plays focussing on women’s and gender issues.

The only male author shortlisted this year is Dušan Šarotar, whose novel Zvezdna Karta (Star Card) tells a story about a Jewish family from the Prekmurje region.

The nominees were shortlisted from more than 30 books entered for the EUR 10,000 prize.

The jury – which consists of Alenka Koron, Niko Grafenauer, Darja Pavlič, Alja Predan, and Ivan Verč as the chairman – will select the winner as the ceremony unfolds.

The Cankar Prize differs from the other Slovenian literature prizes in that it it is not limited to one category of literature.

It can be won for best fiction (novel or short stories), play, poetry or essay – one of the categories of literature in which Cankar (1876-1918) excelled.

It is given out by Slovenian PEN, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU), the University of Ljubljana and the SAZU’s Science and Research Centre in collaboration with the municipality of Vrhnika.

Last year’s winner was Gašper Kralj with his novel Škrbine (Stubs) while the first recipient was Sebastijan Pregelj with the novel V Elvisovi Sobi (In Elvis’s Room).