Writers Željka Lovrenčić, Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić and Marko Gregur took part in the twenty-second International Poetry Festival of Havana, an event staged in the Cuban capital since 1996.
From the 26th of May to the 4th of June writers Željka Lovrenčić, Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić and Marko Gregur took part in the twenty-second International Poetry Festival of Havana, an event staged in the Cuban capital since 1996. Some three hundred poets gathered for the festival from Cuba and thirty other countries including Columbia, Guatemala, the United States of America, El Salvador, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, China and Pakistan. Our poets appeared at the St Francis monastery in the old town core of Havana, at the premises of UNEAC (The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba), at the House of Poetry near the cathedral in Havana and at the Cuban National Theatre. Željka Lovrenčić and Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić were interviewed by the Cuban national television company at the opening of the festival at the St Francis monastery.
Our poets joined colleagues from Cuba, Italy, the United States of America, Mexico and Columbia for presentations at the House of Poetry and the Cuban National Theatre building. Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić offered a recitation of poems from his Tigar (Tiger) and Afrika (Africa) collections, while Marko Gregur read his poems published in a 2015 special issue of the Most/The Bridge magazine.
Croatia was in the focus on the 31st of May at the premises of The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. Željka Lovrenčić spoke before a large audience on the literary links between Croatia and Cuba, of the Croatian translation, printed by publisher Alfa in 2017, of Biografía de un cimarrón (Biography of a Runaway Slave, also published as The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave) by legendary Cuban writer and UNEAC president Miguel Barnet. She also spoke of the Republika, Forum and Nova Istra magazines, which have published novels by thirty-five Cuban narrators. Also promoted was the book Encuentros, a selection of poetry by twenty Croatian writers recently published in Columbia. The highlight of the day was a performance of Miro Gavran’s stage play Lutka (The Doll) as interpreted by Simón Carlos Martín and Mercedes Maríja Noya of the Buscón theatre troupe.
The audience of Cuban hosts and the visiting festival participants from around the world very much enjoyed this humorous play, penned by the most translated Croatian writer of our time. All of the cited texts were translated from and to Croatian and Spanish by the head of this project Željka Lovrenčić, who initiated the cooperation with Cuban writers and who was proposed by her Cuban colleagues to be a member of the panel of judges for the Premio Casa de las Américas, the top Latin American literary award. The principal agent for the project is the Artikulacije art organisation of Koprivnica, with public financing provided via the Ministry of Culture, the City of Zadar, Zadar County and the Municipality of Zemunik. Our writers were chaperoned while in Cuba by well-known Italian poet Gaetano Longo who has been living in Cuba for the past two years.
The festival is organised by eminent Cuban writers Aitana Alberti (daughter of the famed Spanish poet Rafael Alberti), Nancy Morejón, Eusebio Leal, Miguel Barnet, Rogelio Martínez Furé, Waldo Leyva, Virgilio López Lemus, Edel Morales, Alex Pausides (president of the Cuban Association of Artists and Writers), Gaetano Longo, Pierre Bernet and Karel Leyva. (DHK)