Two poets selected for the 2023 Ulysses Shelter residency in Prague were Ivan Antić and Aljaž Primožič who spent two weeks in the Czech capital during the Poetry Day Festival (6-19 November 2023), an annual nationwide celebration of poetry launched in 1999. The poets attended the festival events and took part in the international evening Migration, Identity, Language at the Václav Havel Library, together with three other poets attending the festival and with the translator of Croatian and Serbian literature Dajana Vasiljevičová.
Ivan Antić is a short story writer, poet and translator. Born in 1981 in Jagodina, Serbia, he has lived in Ljubljana since 2012. He studied literature and philosophy in Belgrade and Ljubljana. He has published books of short stories Tonus (2009) and Membranes, membranes (2016). Tonus has been translated into Greek (Vakxikon, Athens, 2021), Membranes into Slovenian (Cankarjeva založba, Ljubljana, 2020) and individual stories have been translated into English, German, Polish, Romanian, Macedonian and Albanian and included in numerous anthologies. Membranes was among the ten best fiction books chosen by the literary critics of the daily magazine Politika for the year 2016. In recent years, he has concentrated on writing poetry, which he occasionally publishes in magazines (Eckermann, Beton, Parkdejl, Kvartal, Gradina, Literatura). His poem Vetar then cash was included in the Slovenian anthology The Word of Resistence (2022). He is currently working on his first poetry collection. He won the Miloš N. Đurić prize for his translation of Dane Zajc’s poetry collection Down down and edited the Anthology of Young Serbian Poets (Vakxikon, Athens, 2021).
Aljaž Primožič (2001) is a Slovenian poet and playwright currently pursuing his studies in Russian Studies and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. His poetry has been translated into Russian, German, and Serbian. Last year, his poetry debut Čisto potiho (So Silently) was published by the publishing house LUD Literatura. The critically acclaimed book quickly sold out within months, making it one of the most sought-after collections of poetry in the country, followed by a reprint in the autumn of 2023. In 2020, his dramatic debut, Kamenčki (Pebbles) made its appearance in the anthology Tapetka! published by the publishing house of the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities (JSKD RS), and a year earlier he adapted the poetry collection Trpljenje mlade Hane (The Sorrows of Young Hana) by Katja Gorečan for a stage production, and has worked on several projects with the Slovenian National Drama Theatre in Ljubljana. Since 2018, he has been assistant artistic director of Izrekanja literary festival which is committed to bringing together different forms of performance poetry. In previous years, he has also performed at the festival with theatre-poetry performances of his own work, as well as the work of other poets.
Photo credits: Ivan Antić by Brina Škvor Jernejčič, Alaž Primožič by LR Photography; photos from the reading by Radek Dětinský.