Every second year, when we celebrate World Poetry Day in March, 7 poets from 7 European countries visit Gdańsk to take part in the European Poet of Freedom Festival.
Before each festival, books by poets nominated for the Award are translated into Polish and published in a bilingual edition. The nominees for 2016 are:
Yahya Hassan (Danish poet with Palestinian roots), Yahya Hassan. Digte – the book has attracted attention and stirred debate about Islam's place in Denmark.
Lidija Dimkovska from Macedonia, pH Neutralna za zivotot i smrtta – shortlisted for best book of poetry by the Macedonian Writers' Association.
Daniel Jonas from Portugal, Passageiro Frequente – according to critics one of the strongest poetic voices in Portugal.
Sergei Stratanovski from Russia, Graffiti – one of the most important personalities in the history of Russian samizdat (from Russian "self-publishing", a name for literature published illegally in the USSR).
Anna Blandiana from Romania, Patria mea A4 – the book contains meditations on fundamental themes such as the fragility and vulnerability of being, the inexorable toll of time, the limitations of the human condition and the correspondence between life and death within the cosmic rhythms of the universe.
Anikó Polgár (Hungarian poet living in Slovenia), Régésznő körömcipőben – in her poetry she focuses above all on the female communitarian experience, drawing from Greek and Roman mythology.
Vanni Bianconi from Italy, Il passo dell'uomo – in his poems Bianconi touches on the problems of emotional and linguistic exile, often within the context of recent and troubled European history.
The winner will be announced at the European Poet of Freedom Festival in Gdańsk in March 2016.
The festival precedes the announcement of the winner of the European Poet of Freedom Literary Award, established by the city of Gdańsk in 2008. Its aim is to single out artistically exceptional poetic talent relating to the subject of freedom, one of today’s most vital subjects, while at the same time it boasts outstanding artistic values. The award is granted to a living European poet, who has in the most original way described freedom as understood in personal, political or religious terms, or as the right to intellectual, emotional and sensual expression. The next festival will take place in March 2016.