The sounds of poetry from world poetic names for the 54th time have spread across poetic Struga. The traditional international poetic meeting “Bridges”, where the “Golden Wreath”, “Brothers Miladinov” and “Bridges of Struga” Awards were given, traditionally takes place at the Bridge of Poetry on the outflow of the Crn Drim river on the 30th of August, thus marking the end of the 54th edition of the Struga Poetry Evenings.
At the poetic manifestation, this year’s laureate the Chinese poet Bei Dao, who is the jubilee 50th recipient of the “Golden Wreath” received the highest festival recognition, which involves a filigree made laurel wreath. The “Bridges of Struga” Award for the debutante book of poetry by a foreign young author went to the Spanish poetess Paula Bozalongo, and “Brothers Miladinov” for the best poetry book on Macedonian language published between two festival editions of the Struga Poetry Evenings was awarded to the poetess Violeta Tanceva-Zlateva. At midnight, as is the tradition, the winner of the “Enhalon” Award was announced, for a best poem by a young Macedonian author, which this year was awarded to Afrodita Nikolova for the poem “Vo naletot na vetrot”.
The “Bridges” manifestation is a synonym of the festival, eagerly awaited by the audience like a festival of poetry. This manifestation symbolizes the power of the poets and the poetic word, and that through poetic exchange at the stage over the waters of the Drim River, we can create bridges and passages between different cultures, and inspire human bonding which will defy misunderstandings, conflicts and wars.
In the city of poetry, the authors and the lovers of the written word were culturally united. The world poetic elite captivated the large international audience with their verses in poetic Struga. The banks of the river Drim was not wide enough for all the people who in the previous five days have stayed in the capitol of poetry.
Alongside the wreath bearer Bei Dao, one of China’s foremost poets, the international audience heard the verses of the “Golden Wreath” recipient of 1997, the world renown poet Adonis, the Pulitzer prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa from the USA, the poetess Sujata Bhatt, the noted Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, Sebastiano Grasso, and young poets from the “Versopolis” platform.
The fifty-fourth poetic festival was solemnly opened on Wednesday by the traditional reading of Konstantine’s “Longing for the South”, lighting the festival fire and the poetic epistle of Adonis in front of the House of Poetry in Struga. Over 40 poets from 29 countries participated in the 54th edition of the Struga Poetry Evenings.