Esad Babačić

Photo: Jože Suhadolnik

Esad Babačić (1965) succeeded – without having had one day of high school – to enroll at the department for Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian language (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana) in the early 90’s, where he is soon about to graduate from Slovenian Punk poetry. Already at the age of seventeen he was awarded as a singer and lyrics writer in the Via Ofenziva Punk band by the FV 126/5 Publish house for the best Punk song about Josip Broz Tito. Together with his band Via Ofenziva he was the first one behind the Iron Wall who dared to publicly perform his cover of the then strictly forbidden “Nazi” song Lilli Marlen. Due to this, he was often interrogated and tortured by the communistic regime of the time. After the final decline of Punk in ex Yugoslavia, he focused on writing poetry and has so far published thirteen poetry books. Together with the world-wide known art group, NSK, he also published Biospektiva Art book in 2010. His works have been published in many respectful European magazines, like Die Batterie, Edinburgh Review, Literaturundkritik and American DG The Dirty Goat, etc., while his first entirely translated book, Lying poet, was for published in USA.

In Vienna his poem Donava won the international Hörbiger award, while his poetry book, Prihodi, odhodi, was also nominated for Jenko Award (2013) – the award of the Slovene Writers’ Association. In 2014 he was given Čaša nesmrtnosti (velenjica) literature prize for the one ten-year poetry opus which has most significantly marked the art literature of the 21st Century.

From his list of references is evident that in 1998 he was reading together with one of the greatest American poets, John Ashbery, at the Sommernacht der Lyrik poetry evening in Pankow, Berlin. In 2000 he was also one of the three poets (besides Aleš Čar and Aleš Šteger) to present Slovenia at the Literature Express Europa 2000 c/o literaturWERKstatt Berlin, the literature train which in month and a half traveled through huge part of Europe and brought literature readings to Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon, Moscow, Tallinn, Riga and Brest. For this literature trip his poetry was translated into all biggest European languages.

Apart from many poetry readings and festivals across Europe (like e.g. Sommernacht der Lyrik, the prestige Days of Poetry and Wine and Struga Poetry Evenings where he was invited twice), he was also a guest of reputable residencies, such as LITERATURE CORICULUM\LCB, Literarisches Colloquium Berlin Gäste (2002) and LITERATUR HAUS, ATELIERR TOP 22, Unsere Gäste, Krems (2004).