The sound-play with works by poets nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award will inaugurate a poetic podcast of the City Culture Institute. Production directed by Adam Nalepa with music by Marcin Mirowski and poetry read by Justyna Bartoszewicz, Monika Chomicka, Sylwia Gora, Marcin Miodek, Weronika Nawiesniak, Adam Turczyk and Robert Ninkiewicz is available on the City Culture Institute’s channel on Spotify and Soundcloud. Let the poetic summer linger, culminating in the presentation of the European Poet of Freedom Prize.

Music, sounds, poetry. What is freedom? The answer is presented by poets nominated for the literary award of the Gdansk European Poet of Freedom 2020: Zwiad Ratiani, Antoine Cassar, Darko Cvijetić, Agnė Žagrakalytė, Jean Portante, Inga Gaile, Sinéad Morrissey, Balša Brković. The soundplay takes listeners on a literary journey across the European continent – from Ireland through the Balkans to the Baltic countries. In addition, on City Culture Institute’s Spotify channel, extensive and additional recordings dedicated to each of the creators will be systematically appearing.

An unusual sound and theatrical production directed by Adam Nalepa opens the poetic podcast on City Culture Institute’s Spotify channel. The director transformed the original idea of ​​the European Poet of Freedom Award 2020 into a soundplay that presents the nominated authors and their translators. Małgorzata Fijas was responsible for the dramaturgy of the production, the music was created by Marcin Mirowski – the originator and founder of the film symphony orchestra The Film Harmony Orchestra, composer-in-residence of the Lublin Philharmonic, and the sound was edited by Marcin Dymiter and Cezary Joczyn.

There are conversations between Adam Pluszka and the translators of the nominated volumes on the website, while on the European Poet of Freedom Facebook page and YouTube channel, one can find presented animations devoted to the poetry volumes nominated for the Award, produced by the esy-floresy studio.

The laureates of the European Poet of Freedom Award 2020 will be announced by the end of July.

Listening to the podcast on Spotify (, we learn about the nominees for the European Poet of Freedom Award.

Darko Cvijetić (born 1968, Bosnia and Herzegovina). Poet, prose writer. Member of the Pen Club and the Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Director and playwright at Prijedor theater in Serbian Republic. The volume “Goose Skin” translated by Miłosz Waligorski is a war chronicle. Dry and unemotional reportage is balanced by intimacy and metaphor.

Balša Brković (born 1966, Montenegro). He graduated in literary studies from the University of Belgrade. He writes poetry and prose. He is also engaged with theatrical criticism, history and ideology of anarchism. The volume of poetry “Black pitches” translated by Agnieszka Schreier is an intimate account of a journey towards freedom of choice, that is not limited by obligations towards the nation or history. The book received the Risto Ratkovic award for the best volume of poetry published in the Balkan countries.

Zviad Ratiani (born 1971, Georgia). Poet and translator. Winner of the most important Georgian SABA literary award. He was awarded the Goethe Institute Prize for translating Paul Celan’s poetry. “You are allowed” translated by Magdalena Nowakowska is a collection of existential poems, full of unsolvable dilemmas and practically devoid of extra-literary contexts.

Sinéad Morrissey (born 1972, Ireland). Award-winning Irish poet. She spent many years outside her homeland, incl. Japan and New Zealand. She teaches writing at the Universities of Belfast and Newcastle. In the volume “On balance” translated by Magda Heydel, the poet seeks balance in many aspects of individual and institutional life. However, this is not ideological poetry. And its formal architecture surprises and amazes.

Agnė Žagrakalytė (born 1979, Lithuania). Lithuanian poet, novelist, essayist and columnist. Award-winning writer, participates in international literary and translation projects. She currently lives in Brussels. She sketches writing. She trains Japanese martial arts. The volume “Precisely” translated by Emilia Rembialkowska is a self-ironic praise of the imagination’s madness. It is sensual poetry, pulsating with almost erotic energy, but devoid of narcissism.

Jean Portante (born 1950, Luxembourg). Poet, novelist, author of theatrical plays. Translated into several dozen languages. He lives in Paris, but is still strongly connected to Luxembourg, where, among others, he works at the University. Literary editor of the journal TRANSKRIT. Awarded many times both in France and in Luxembourg. In the volume “After quake”, translated by Wawrzyniec Brzozowski, the poet uses archetypes such as fire, water, light or shadow – he places them in new contexts, and is not avoiding linguistic experiments.

Inga Gaile (born 1976, Latvia). Poet, writer, translator, author of theatrical plays. Winner of many important Latvian literary awards. She chairs the Latvian PEN Club. She is an organizer and participant of stand-ups for women. The volume “Easter” translated by Agnieszka Smarzewska is a collection of imagination exercises. Full of questions, manual for the surrounding reality – told with tenderness for the world and detection of the omnipresent evil.

Antoine Cassar (born 1978, Malta). Poet, translator and cultural activist. He translated the works of many Maltese writers into English and Spanish. The volume of “Forty Days” – for which he received the Malta National Book Award – is a poetic chronicle of harm in which the author deals with domestic violence and childhood trauma. The poem translated by Zuzanna Gawron is a kind of self-therapy – a path – in a metaphysical and literal sense – from hatred to love.

International European Poet of Freedom Literature Festival 2020

Organizer: City Culture Institute, City of Gdansk

Media patrons: Books. Magazine for reading, PISMO, Tygodnik Powszechny, TOK FM,, 8th Arkusz Odry, Kontent, Gazeta Wyborcza Trojmiasto

Previous laureates: 2010 – Uładimir Arłow – Belarus (translated by Adam Pomorski), 2012 – Durs Grünbein (Germany) and his translator Andrzej Kopacki, 2014 – Dorta Jagić (Croatia) and her translator Malgorzata Wierzbicka, 2016 – Ana Blandiana (Romania) and her translator Joanna Kornas-Warwas, 2018 – Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir (Iceland) and her translator Jacek Godek.

The publication of the volumes: Zwiada Ratianygo “You are allowed” and Darko Cvijeticia “Goose skin” were co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund.