Since 2010, the European Poet of Freedom Award and its Festival have been a unique opportunity for Gdansk and the City Culture Institute to promote European poetry. Therefore, so far, volumes by authors from 46 European countries have been included in Polish literary circulation. The first open intake for the next edition of this Award begins on July 14th. Its laureates will receive PLN 100,000 (poets) and PLN 20,000 (translators). The deadline for submitting applications is October 30th this year, and the detailed schedule and regulations of the competition are available on the website –

With the end of the current, sixth edition of the European Poet of Freedom competition (2018-2020), we will close the first series of the Awards, which allowed for the publication of volumes from almost all European countries. Gdansk is the only Polish city that has built a poetry collection from all around our continent, and the EPoF Award has found a permanent place on the European map of literary awards.

The six editions of the Award gave a chance to discover authors who, in the vast majority, had not been translated into Polish before. The collection of volumes shows how interesting and diverse – and still little known in Poland – European poetry is. When choosing the literature that we publish and promote, we are guided by the values of poetry – in line with with this principle, we will continue to develop the festival and the publishing series. Building a collection around the concept of freedom is an opportunity to talk not only with poets – we want the festival to be an interdisciplinary space for conversation and contact between creators and recipients – says Aleksandra Szymańska, director of the City Culture Institute.

Along with the new cycle, the rules of the competition were modified. Until now, the main benchmark for submitting poets was their country of origin, whereas now the language criterion will apply. This change derives from the awareness that creators are much more defined by the language in which they create than by place of residence or citizenship.

Applications of poets writing in foreign languages may be sent by literature translators specialising in a given language, while applications by Polish authors may be submitted by publishing houses and other entities publishing poetry. In the new series of the European Poet of Freedom Awards, it is possible to submit both the entirety of works (assuming that the translators make their own selections of the poetry of a given author), as well as individual, already published volumes.

In 2020 (applications for the Award, which will be awarded in 2022), the works of poets writing in the following languages (as well as all their existing forms and dialects) will be considered: Albanian, Czech, Estonian, German and Upper – and Lower Sorbian language, Polish language and Kashubian language, Norwegian language and Sami languages and Quena language, Slovenian language, Ukrainian language.

The deadline for submitting applications for the European Poet of Freedom 2022 Award is October 30th, 2020. Applications are accepted by e-mail at the following address: and in writing at: Instytut Kultury Miejskiej, ul. Długi Targ 39/40, 80-830 Gdańsk. The winners will be selected during the European Poet of Freedom Festival in Gdańsk in spring 2022.

Jury of the Award: Krzysztof Czyżewski (chairman of the Jury), Paweł Huelle, Zbigniew Mikołejko, Stanisław Rosiek, Anda Rottenberg, Beata Stasińska, Olga Tokarczuk. Andrzej Jagodziński is the secretary of the Jury.

The volumes nominated for the European Poet of Freedom Award 2020 (ongoing edition) can be purchased at the City Culture Institute’s headquarters at Długi Targ 39/40 and at They are also available from distributors in online bookstores.

Previous winners: 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.

More about the Award:

European Poet of Freedom Festival and Award

Organizer: City Culture Institute, City of Gdańsk