The meeting pooled over a hundred poets from Croatia and fifteen other countries. Three books were promoted: a collection featuring the work of young poets from the western part of Brod-Posavina County, the XVII Collection of Poems of the Rešetari Meeting of Poets and a collection of the poems of Croatian poets from the emigrant communities. The event also included the opening an exhibition of paintings by Šime Vlahov from Germany.
The patron of the meeting, Croatian President Ivo Josipović, was again this year the event’s special guest; his duties included the opening of the Rešetari Culture & Visual Arts Society (KLD Rešetari) Centre.
It was yet another very special poetic gathering bringing poets from European and overseas countries such as Australia, Canada and South Africa to Rešetari. It was a celebration of the Croatian language reaffirming the bonds between the Homeland and Emigrant Croatia.
On hand to speak of the importance of the Rešetari Meeting of Poets were representatives of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the State Office for Croats Abroad, Petar Bašić from South Africa and Antun Kikaš from Canada. They thanked the organisers for once again bringing everyone together in Rešetari.
On behalf of all the gathered poets Antun Kikaš expressed special thanks for, as he said, the tireless work of the president of KLD Rešetari Ivan De Villa. He thanked him for the efforts he has made over the past seventeen years in organising the poetry meetings in Rešetari and his thirty years of activity on the culture scene. His proposal that De Villa be awarded a national decoration for his work met with applause.
The patron of the 17th Rešetari Meeting of Poets, Croatian President Ivo Josipović, was the event’s special guest September 12th.
“I wish to thank the organisers of the Rešetari Meeting of Poets for making the small town of Rešetari a major cultural hub of Croatian literature. This Centre is being opened thanks to Croatian literature, its strength and capacity to convey to us a message, emotions and thoughts. This, to the best of my knowledge, is the first exhibition and gallery space in the town. It is a great contribution to the citizens and a place where works of art, poetry and, I hope, music will be enjoyed.
Your meetings are known of far and wide. This is an event that is of particular importance for Croatia. Poets writing in Croatian from every continent gather here – nurturing Croatian literature, binding the Homeland and the Diaspora and nurturing the Croatian language, which is particularly important. Language is the most vital bond between the homeland and the emigrant communities. Without the language this bond is difficult to preserve, although the tamburitza also plays a great role, as do economic and other relations.
In the contemporary world it is evident that distance no longer separates us as it once did. Direct contact and culture mean a great deal and are, in a way, decisive in linking the homeland and the emigrant communities. All of us involved in politics say that we want better ties between the homeland and emigrant Croatia. Some families have been abroad for generations and I am always pleased to see that, three or four generations after a family left the country, they still maintain ties with the homeland. These ties will be unbreakable if we fulfil our constitutional mission to care for Croatians abroad. This care will be less and less in providing some form of financial assistance. Often our Croatians living abroad are wealthier than we are here. Let us remember the very successful and wealthy people who assist us, not the other way around.
There will always be the commitment to disseminate Croatian literature, Croatian culture and traditions, to always offer conditions for our people to invest in Croatia, to come here, and for some to consider returning – and there is a growing number in that sense.
Your contribution to this good policy in creating links between homeland and emigrant Croatia is truly longstanding and for this I thank and congratulate you,” said President Ivo Josipović at the opening of the KLD Rešetari Centre.