It is with pleasure that we announce that the grant-funded residencies within the Visegrad Literary Residency Programme just began, on 1 September. Four grant holders, selected by the recruitment committee, have come to Kraków to spend 3 months here, working on their literary-artistic projects, participate in meetings with their readers and other literary events. This year, Villa Decius will host Ivan Štrpka – one of the most important Slovakian contemporary poets, András Forgách – Hungarian playwright and screenwriter, Ivana Myškovą – Czech radio journalist and writer and Anna Herbut – playwright, theatre reviewer, art critic and curator from Poland.
Ivan Štrpka (1944) is one of the most important Slovak contemporary poets, prose writer, essayist, and translator of Spanish and Portuguese literature. He graduated in philosophy from the Comenius University in Bratislava. Štrpka belonged to the group of poets “Osama bežci” (Lone runners), whose members made their debut in the late 1960s. He published 16 collections of poems (including “Tristan raves” in 1971, “Now and other islands” in 1981, “Everything is under crust” in 1989, “Master Mu and women’s voices” in 1997), two collections of essays and a novel. His works have been translated to many languages, including German, English, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish and Polish. “Silent hand. Ten elegies” – a comprehensive poetic composition in many parts, continuing the great, elegiac tradition of European poetry and diagnosing the condition of humanity of the postmodern era is the most well-known collection of his poetry in Poland. In 2010, Ivan Štrpka was nominated to the “European Poet of Freedom” award in Gdańsk.
András Forgách (1952) – Hungarian playwright, novelist, screenwriter and literary translator. In the years 1970-1976 he studied the history of philosophy at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He then worked as a playwright in the theatre in Kecskemet and at the National Theatre in Budapest. He publishes short stories, essays, criticism and drawings. He is also a translator of Shakespeare, Williams, Beaumarchais, Orton, Chekhov and many other authors. His most important works include the novel “The one that does not exist” (1999), a collection of essays, “Wicked success” (2000) and screenplay, “Robert és Robert” (1985). He is the author of many plays, among them “Vitellius” (1991), “Two dramas” (1991), “Tercett” (1993), “Cleaner” (2003) and “Eric” (2005).
Ivana Myšková (1981) – Czech radio journalist, writer. She studied creative writing and communication media on Literární Academie in Prague. Since 2007, she has worked in the Department of Culture of the Czech Radio 3 – Vltava, co-creating the “Mosaic” programme. She mainly prepares short programmes about various literary events in the Czech Republic and abroad. Her radio play “Odpoledne’s Lilliputian” (The afternoon with a Liliput) premiered in 2007. In 2012, she published a book entitled “Nícení” (Destruction), which was nominated for the Česká Kniha literary award. She publishes her short stories in various magazines, such as “Revolver Revue”, “Dobrá Adresa” and “Respekt” and is currently working on a collection of short stories.
Anna Herbut (1983) – playwright, theatre reviewer, art critic and curator, a graduate of the Jagiellonian University’s drama studies and Theatre Institute’s playwriting, a doctoral student at the Institute of European Studies of the Jagiellonian University. She describes herself as a “radical tale writer, working in the word-formation of art-naming and copyleft”. Anna Herbut is also a co-founder of the Wrocław-based artists’ collective called Identity Problem Group and IP Group Foundation. She writes about theatre and arts for “Dwutygodnik”, “Didaskalia”, “Notatnik Teatralny”, “Chimera” and “Art & Business”.
The Visegrad Literary Residency Programme is an initiative of the Villa Decius Association and the International Visegrad Fund, which is a series of residency stays and literary events. The programme targets writers, poets, essayists, critics, translators of literature and journalists from the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary). The aim of the programme is the annual hosting of selected literary residents from all four countries, supporting their work and mobility, and the creation of an information exchange platform. Additionally, the programme enables the development and promotion of the literatures of the Visegrad Group countries in Central Europe.
The programme is based on a partnership of four hosting institutions from each of the V4 countries i.e.: Institut umeni (The Arts Institute) from Prague, Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeum (Petőfi Literary Museum) from Budapest, Villa Decius Association from Krakow and Literarné Informačné Centrum (Centre for Information on Literature) from Bratislava. Its first edition took place between 1 September 2012 and made it possible for 16 literary residents to work on their literary projects in the 4 hosting institutions.