Romanian poet Ana Blandiana, 73, was awarded the European Poet of Freedom title this weekend in Gdansk, Poland.
Seven countries competed for this award in 2016, namely Romania, Portugal, Denmark, Hungary, Russia, Italy, and Macedonia. The jury, made of Polish cultural and literary personalities, gave the award to Ana Blandiana and her volume Patria Mea A4 / My Native Land A4. The Polish version of the book was released in January this year, at the słowo/obraz terytoria publishing house.
The European Poet of Freedom Literary Festival, organized in Gdansk, aims to highlight and promote the exceptional poets who address one of the fundamental themes of the contemporary world – freedom. The event has reached its fourth edition in 2016.
Seven writers from seven European countries are nominated for this award at every edition. The winner gets PLN 100,000 (EUR 23,600), according to a statement of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Warsaw.
Ana Blandiana, born Otilia Valeria Coman, is from Timisoara, western Romania. She took her name after Blandiana, her mother’s home village in Alba County. She made her editorial debut in 1964. In the late 1980s, she started criticizing the communist regime in protest poems, and, after the 1989 Romanian Revolution, she advocated for the removal of the communist legacy from administrative office as well as for an open society.
She also wrote poems for children, one of her most famous characters being Arpagic (Chive) the cat.
Ana Blandiana’s work has been translated into 16 languages.
Irina Popescu, email@example.com
(Photo source: ICR Varsovia on Facebook)