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Fanny Haussmann Award to Franci Novak, who prides himself on his innovative poetry

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Poetry prize awarded for the fifth year in a row

The poetry prize named after the first Slovenian poet Fanny Haussmann, which was awarded for the fifth time this year, went to Franci Novak for the set of poems Vlak Grosuplje–Kočevje. This year, 72 submissions were received, 30 more than last year.



According to the jury, many of the entries were of high quality on various poetic levels – from motif-thematic to rhetorical figures and innovative vocabulary. The number of registered contributions is “points to the fact that the Fanny Haussmann poetry award has become nationally recognizable in five years and has established itself as relevant on the Slovenian poetry map“.


Nominees and award winner at the award ceremony in Dvorec Novo Celje.  Photo: ZKŠT Žalec/Bina Plaznik

Jury in composition Lidija Koceli, Marija Končina, Zoran Pevec and last year’s awardee Matjaž Pikala, included five creations in the final selection. In addition to Francia Novak, there were other finalists Cvetka Bevc (Cheers membrane quaelibetVivant et mulieres – Memories of school years), Miljana Cunt (Everyday icons), Andraž Polič (Soul and Body) and Vesna Šare (Ogres).

About the composition of the song Train Grosuplje–Kočevje Francia Novak, the jury wrote that “the poetic self in it originally and skilfully depicts moments of life and various mental-existential ones situations while traveling by train. Innovative poetic figures are shown to us through society and the individual in it, and the journey is a demonstration of the essence of life under the open sky on the rails of everyday life. A very well executed narrative arc of the poetic cycle leads us through the memories of the lyrical subject, trust in the other, reflection on who is moving in this world – tubit or landscape, Self or space.


The ceremonial speaker of this year's award was the president of the Society of Slovenian Writers, Dušan Merc.  Photo: ZKŠT Žalec/Bina Plaznik

As it is written in the justification, “the space-time dimension moves from one period of life to another, from one event to another. The wagon is a microcosm and a macrocosm at the same time, and the backpack is the luggage of experiences somewhere between the lyrical subject, the other and the world.“However, in the opinion of the jury, Novak’s poetry collection”with a unified presentation of life and a reflection on it, it comprehensively shows the insightful observation of tubiti in seemingly small stories, which, however, show themselves comprehensively in the extreme depth of the poet’s thinking. The intimate world of the poetic subject is a search for the self, things and creation with an innovative poetic word in an extra-temporal dimension, and yet so much here and now, on this journey, on this train, in this life, in these poems.

The prize is awarded by the Institute for Culture, Sports and Tourism (ZKŠT) Zalac. The prize, worth 1,000 euros, was handed over to the winner by the mayor of Žalec at the award ceremony on Thursday Janko Kos. The ceremonial speaker was the president of the Society of Slovenian Writers Dušan Merc. At the award ceremony in Novo Celje Castle, editor Marija Končina also presented a magazine for literature and culture Insightwhich under the aegis ZKŠT Žalec has been published for 18 years.

The award is named after Fanny Haussmann, at least allegedly the first Slovenian poet. The thesis of the authors of the collection The Secret of Fanny Haussmann (Aristej publishing house, 2018) France Buttolo, Irene Selisnik, Jožice Čeh Steger and Aleksandar Bjelčević is that the nine published Slovenian poems signed by Fanny Haussmann are most likely translations of her poems originally written in German. These translations may also have been created with the author’s cooperation. Fanny Haussmann is like Franziska Maria Elisabeth Haussmann born in 1818 in Bruck an der Mur in the Austrian Styria region. Among the Slovenes, she immigrated to the Nova Celje manor near Žalec, which her father bought in 1835, but the date of her arrival in the manor is unknown. She began publishing poems during the Spring of Nations in 1848 in the Celjske Slovene noviny. It was characterized by the time of the romantic, pre-March era, when national demands and democratic ideas were born, when critical standards for high-quality poetry were established and the tradition of its own literary tradition was established. She died in 1853 in the village of Dobriša.

Source: Rtvslo

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