Poetry Tournament

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Contact info
Pesniški turnir
Na Gorci 20, SI-2000 Maribor
Phone386 (0) 2 250 0828
Fax386 (0) 2 250 0829
Founded byPivec Publishing House

Organised annually by Pivec Publishing House, the Poetry Tournament is an event during which the title of Knight or Dame of Poetry is bestowed upon the author of the best unpublished Slovenian poem. The tournament was launched in Maribor in 2001 with a view to promoting and popularising poetry through a prize-winning competition. In 2012 the tournament was expanded into the European Poetry Tournament.

The Poetry Tournament is unique because all other Slovene poetry awards are intended for collections and not for individual unpublished poems. Both budding and acclaimed poets are thus given an opportunity to present their unpublished work and gain recognition. More than 150 poems from Slovenia and its neighbouring countries enter the competition every year.

The finale is held during the Slovene Book Days in Maribor, while the semi-finals are organised in different cities around Slovenia (eg. Postojna and Ravne na Koroškem) or its neighbouring countries. In the final tournament prominent poets, past winners, various musicians and theatre artists give performances.

The course of the tournament

At the beginning of every year Pivec Publishing House invites authors to apply for the tournament by submitting at least one unpublished Slovenian poem. A jury consisting of experts on contemporary poetry then chooses 24 poems, after which the selected authors compete in two semi-final poetry tournaments. There the poets give interpretations of their work, among which four poems are chosen by the jury with an additional two by the audience; in the final round of the tournament twelve poems therefore compete for the title of Knight or Dame of Poetry, a cash prize, and a hand-forged iron rose. Audience members are also given a chance to select their favourite poem.


The poems presented at the finale are published in the Poetry Tournament journal and literary magazine Rp. Lirikon21.

European Poetry Tournament

In 2012 when Maribor was the European Capital of Culture, the tournament was expanded into the European Poetry Tournament, joining six countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovakia. In cooperation with other foreign organisations, juries chose the best unpublished poem from their country to participate and represent their country in the European Poetry Tournament. The tournament was won by Franci Novak from Slovenia, the audience award went to Daniela Raimondi from Italy. The featured poems were translated into Slovenian and English and published in the journal.

See also

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