Pranger is a Poetry Festival where poets, critics and translators of poetry meet. However, it is in our concern to reach beyond the realm of PILLORIES – pranger in Slovene meaning pillory – and cultivate the high level of respectful eye-to-eye criticism.
Nine selected Slovene poets are invited to the Pranger Festival, three critics of poetry and three translators of Slovene poetry. Pranger takes place in Ljubljana and in Rogaška Slatina, previously also in towns of Kozjansko, where pillories are preserved.
Each year the Festival has a COUNTRY or CULTURE Special. Translations of the Slovene poetry into that chosen language are made, and also poets from the chosen country are invited to the Festival. In 2017 the invited country is UKRAINE with poet Dmytro Tchystiak coming to Slovenia. In 2016 selected country was Portugal, in 2015 SPAIN and in 2014 SWITZERLAND, presented with one of the official languages, the Romansh (Graubünden, Engadin).
For the 10th Edition Pranger Poetry Festival hosted RUSSIAN poetry and language. From Novosibirsk came the Russian poet Mr Victor Ivanov. Marina Tsvetaeva German translator, poet and philosopher Mr Hendrik Jackson and the Slovene Moscow correspondent historian and comparative literature expert Mr Andrej Stopar gave us inside on the cultural relations. Russian Federal Translation Institute invited another poet from Moscow, Kirill Korcagin. The Slovene translators and leading conaisseurs of the Russian literature of the younger generation Mrs Jelka Ciglenečki, Mr Borut Kraševec and Mr Mladen Uhlik Phd Faculty of Arts Ljubljana joined the programme, and also Mrs Žanna Perkovskaja, the established translator into Russian.
In 2012 the chosen language was NORWEGIAN and three poets from Norway were visiting Slovenia: Gunnar Wærness, Gunstein Bakke and Kjersti Bronken Senderud. The Norwegian programme has been organized with the support of the Norwegian agency NORLA: Travel grant is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ support program for promotion of authors abroad. NORLA supported also the Pranger Poetry Festival’s translations from Norwegian into Slovene.
In 2011 the chosen language was Danish and two poets from DENMARK were invited to visit Slovenia, the Pranger Festival and Ljubljana the capital, in cooperation with the Slovene Writer’s Association: Mette Moestrup and Palle Sigsgaard. The Pranger Festival also featured a special Hommage to the Danish poet Inger Christensen.
2010 the country in focus was SWEDEN. Pranger invited three Swedish poets, Linn Hansén, Hanna Nordenhök and Marie Silkeberg.
For the Pranger Festival each of the three critics invited chooses three Slovene poetry collections published in the previous year and are in his/her opinion worth a debate whether because of a positive or a negative aspect or a special esthetic-philosophic direction it possibly implies. Selected authors are invited to the Festival to participate in the debates. Before the public debates in July each critic also prepares him/herself for the debate on the other six collections chosen by the other two critics. Furthermore, each year a different translation language is chosen. Distinguished translators from the chosen language are invited to participate at the Festival, where selected Slovene poetry is translated into the target language and foreign poetry into Slovene. The translator works in a tandem with a foreign language expert or poet to discuss ambiguities arising while translating poetry. The results are presented at the translation panel at the Pranger Festival.
The newspaper VEČER publishes nine critical argumentations of the selected poetry collections which are participating at Pranger. In July three public debates about reasons for the critical selection take place at different settings in Rogaška Slatina.
The very essence of Pranger Festival lies in direct confrontation of critics and poets, poetry translators and poets, poets among themselves, translators among themselves, and last but not least critics among themselves. The conversations focus on chosen poetry collections, poems, verse, poetry criteria, and on theoretical tit-bits for broader contexts. Critics sometimes contribute a literary-historian and poetological debate, and others are young and eager writers. In case a critic is himself/herself a poet and has a poetry collection published in the previous year priority is given to poetry, and the critic’s mandate is postponed to the following year. Critics receive a list of published poetry collections compiled by the National Library of Slovenia.