/ 6 April 2016

Runa Svetlikova is the winner of “Bridges of Struga” award 2016

Awarded for her authentic voice

The Management Board of Struga Poetry Evenings at the press-conference held on April 1 in Skopje was announced that the winner of the “Bridges of Struga” award for best debutant poetry book is the Belgian poet Runa Svetlikova for her poetry book “Padded White Room”. The international poetic award “Bridges of Struga” for best debutant book is awarded by Struga Poetry Evenings together with UNESCO.

Since its inception in 2003 the “Bridges of Struga” has become one of the most  prestigious awards for emerging poets world-wide which widely opens further avenues of creative affirmation for the poets. As a result, for this year’s interest in the festival, 21 books from 17 countries have arrived on the address of SPE. The Management Board of SPE have stated that this year’s books are of an exceptional quality and that since the establishment of the award, the level of competition is on the highest level. From the received books and their poetry achievements, the following are the ones that separate: Lynley Edmeades, New Zealand  - “As the Verb Tenses” ; Runa Svetlikova, Belgium – „Deze zachte witte kamer“ – „Padded White Room“ ; Sara Eliza Johnson, USA – „Bone Map“ ;  Juan de Frono, Colombia – „El coro blanko“ – „The Blank Chorus“ ; Gabriel Govea Acosta, Mexico – „Noctario“.

The Management Board stated that these books are mature achievements of the poets, with high artistic values and the decision to announce Runa Svetlikova as the winner of “Bridges of Struga” award was made because of her authentic poetry manuscript “Padded White Room”. Although it is debutant, her poetry book stands out for its features as a poetry manuscript, in the poetry occupations and the treatment/approach towards them. The complex structure in which the poems are incorporated confirms that Runa is a mature author whose work will be inevitable not only in the Belgian/Flemish literature but in world literature as well. 

Runa Svetlikova is a poet, writer and graphic designer. She was born in 1982, she studied graphic design, language and literature. She is a poet who believes that it is impossible to grasp reality but she keeps trying to understand it through language and image. The book “Padded White Room” was already recognized and awarded with the prestigious prize Herman de Conink for best debut book in 2015 and was also nominated for C. Buddingh’-prize in 2015. 
Runa Svetlikova is the 13th laureate of this international award and earns her place in the list of young poets, previous winners of this prestigious award.  As part of the award is the publishing of a bilingual or trilingual publication (book) by Struga Poetry Evenings. The award contains a financial part in the amount of 1000 Euro. The presentation of the award will be on the “Bridges” event, during the festival, on an official ceremony.