STA, 18 August 2019 - Slovenia's oldest town, Ptuj, will set the stage for the 23rd annual Days of Poetry and Wine (Dnevi Poezije in Vina) between 21 and 24 August, although the festival and accompanying events will spill over to 18 other towns in Slovenia and across the border.
The festival will feature 20 established poets from across the globe with Serbian poet Radmila Lazić and Chinese poet Bei Dao as the guests of honour and Germany as the country in focus.
Pre-festival poetry readings will start on Sunday, 18 August, in Petanjci in the Prekmurje region in the north-east, followed by an event in Ljutomer on Monday where poets participating in a poetry translation workshop will present their translations to the public.
The next day will see events in a number of villages and towns across the country, including an event at Ljubljana's riverside Špica and poetry reading on a boat on the river Ljubljanica.
The official opening in Ptuj on Wednesday will see Ilija Trojanow, the multi-award winning Bulgarian-German author, read his Open Letter to Europe.
"Trojanow is truly global citizen; being of Bulgarian descent, he writes in German, lives in Austria, grew up in South Africa and writes his poetry in English. His are in fact three mother tongues," says the festival director Aleš Šteger.
Since 2017 the festival has picked a prominent European thinker each year to write a letter reflecting on Europe, which is then sent to European institutions and published by various media. "We've been assured that it'll be translated into at least 12 languages," said Šteger.
A total of 60 events such as poetry readings, poetry duels, workshops for children, concerts, carnival promenades, art installations will be accompanied by a selection of finest wines.
For the first time the festival will feature readings by young authors and poetry for breakfast. In a first time it will also visit the Carthusian Monastery of Žiče.
Exceptional international poetry that comes to life in the intimate spaces of old gardens and squares attracts almost 10,000 visitors from Slovenia and abroad to the festival each year, the organizers say.
Most of the events are being held in Slovenian and English and all except for one are admission free. Proceeds from the tickets for the poetry duel will go to studio for young talents.
Since 2014, the festival has been part of the European poetry platform Versopolis, which is dedicated to the promotion of poetry internationally.
The full programme can be found here