Participants 2019

Christopher Merrill (USA)

Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many edited volumes and translations; and six books of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, and Self-Portrait with Dogwood. His writings have been translated into nearly forty languages; his journalism appears widely; his honors include a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French government, numerous translation awards, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial and Ingram Merrill Foundations. As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa since 2000, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries. He served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO from 2011-2018, and in April 2012 President Barack Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities.

Philip Meersman (Holland)

Multilingual poet/performer Philip Meersman pushes boundaries of poetry in both written and spoken form, drawing on current affairs, sociopolitical and environmental issues. His poems range from narrative and traditional form to directives for performance pieces, to concrete studies of sound, individual words and even letters themselves. He performed his work on every continent (except Antarctica) and his poetry is translated into more than 15 languages. Co-founder of several art-poetry-music-performance groups, member of the Akademia Zaum, curator of and coordinating the informal European Network of Poetry Slam Championships. Meersman studied Archeology and Art History in Brussels and he is currently doing a PhD in the Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp researching visual
poetry, its performance strategies based upon the writings and theories of René Magritte, Velimir Chlebnikov and the Russian Cubo-Futurists. His fulltime job is as the managing director of the cultural centre CC ‘t Vondel in the city of Halle.

He published at Three Rooms Press in New York “This is Belgian Chocolate: Manifestations of Poetry”. (2014) which was well received in the US as well as in Flanders
Earlier he published with Contrabas Uitgeverij the now sold-out “Manifest voor de Poëzie”, which also was positively received: and

Koukis Christos (Greece)

Christos Koukis was born in 1979 and he is a poet and a writer. He has published poetry books in Greece, France, Italy and Serbia and poems of his have been translated in eight (8) languages. He has participated in poetry anthologies in Greece and other countries and in several international poetry festivals around the world. He has worked in poetry and culture magazines and has written lyrics for songs. Recently he collaborated in an international project for Documenta 14 Athens. He lives and works in Athens.

Hemant Divate (India)

Hemant Divate is a poet, editor, publisher and translator. He is the founder-editor of the Marathi little magazine Abhidhanantar, which was published uninterruptedly for 15 years. Abhidhanantar has been credited for providing a solid platform to new poets and for enriching the post-nineties Marathi literary scene. Divate is credited with changing the Marathi literary scene through Abhidhanantar and the Indian English poetry scene through his imprint Poetrywala. He is the author of six poetry collections in Marathi. Divate’s poems have been translated into French, Italian, Slovak, Japanese, Persian, Maltese, Serbian, Slovenian, Greek, Hindi and many Indian languages. In translation, he has a book each in Spanish, Irish, Arabic, German and Estonian apart from four in English. His poems figure in numerous anthologies in Marathi and English. Divate has participated in numerous international poetry and literature festivals across the globe. His publishing house, Paperwall Media & Publishing, has published (under its imprint Poetrywala) more than 100 poetry collections. Hemant lives and works in Mumbai.

Efe Duyan (Turkey)

(b. 1981, İstanbul, Turkey)
He has been invited to several workshops, poetry readings and international organizations since 2009, including Turkish Poetry Evenings in Copenhagen, Word-Express Project (series of poetry readings in several Balkan Countries), Edinburgh Book Festival, London Book Fair, Berlin Poetry Festival, Lodeve Poetry Festival, Riga Poetry Days, Malta İnizjamed Poetry
Festival, Transylvania Poetry Poetry Festival, Palabra En El Mundo in Venice, Sofia Poetics Festival, Chisinau Poetry Festival, Enemies Project & European Poetry Night in Britain, Shaar Poetry Festival in Israel, Sidi Bou Said Poetry Festival in Tunisia, Venice Dropping Seeds Project, European Poetry Biennale in Brasov, Swiss PEN's Day of Writers in Prison Meeting in Geneva, Goran's Spring Festival in Croatia, Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp, Writer’s Month Reading Series in Slovakia, Czechia, Poland and Ukraine, Mexico City Poetry Festival, and Divan: Berlin-İstanbul Project, Eurovision Poetry Series in Berlin, İzmir Literature Festival and Iowa International Writers Residency in US.
Some of his poems have been translated into Bosnian, Czech, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Macedonian, Maltese, Occitan, Polish, Slovenian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian and Welsh.
His translation works in poetry includes poetry collections of Radu Vancu (Romania), Matthias Göritz (Germany) and Lloyd Schwartz (USA). He co-created poetry workshops with British, French, Italian, Israeli, Bulgarian, German, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese, Hungarian poets and the Istanbul Offline International Poetry Festival, Turkish American Poetry Days and Gaziantep International Poetry Festival. He acts as the Turkish co-editor of Rotterdam Poetry Foundations’s Poetry International Archives and advisor to Nâzım Hikmet Poetry Festival in North Carolina. He has been included in the anthology of Turkish Poetry “Paper Ship“ (Great Britain, 2013), European Poetry Anthology GRAND TOUR (Germany, 2019), and EUROPOESIE – 21st Century Poetry Anthology (Great Britain, 2019). He worked in the editorial committees of literature magazines Nikbinlik (2000-2005) and Sanat Cephesi (2006-2010) and Istanbul Offline Magazine (2016-2019). His critical essay The Construction of Characters in Nâzım Hikmet’s Poetry has been published in 2008. He edited a contemporary poetry anthology Bir Benden Bir O’ndan (2010) and is a member of the editorial board of the acclaimed literature magazine Offline Istanbul. His poetry collections are Sıkça Sorulan Sorular (Frequently Asked Questions, 2016), Tek Şiirlik Aşklar (One Poem Stands, 2012) and Takas (Swap, 2006). He is currently teaching history of architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul.

Gerhard Falkner (Germany)

Gerhard Falkner, born in 1951, is one of the most important German poets of our time. He has published several volumes of poems, amongst them “Hölderlin Reparatur” (2008), awarded with the Peter-Huchel-Prize, and “Ignatien” (2014). In his 2019 volume of poems “Schorfheide. Gedichte en plein air” he has restored nature poetry. After scholarships at Villa Massimo/Casa Baldi, Rome and the Academy at Solitude castle, Stuttgart, he was in 2013 the first fellow of the Academy Tarabya, Istanbul and in 2014 fellow of Villa Aurora, Los Angeles. His novels “Apollokalypse” (“Apollocalypse”; 2016) and „Romeo oder Julia“ („Romeo or Julia“; 2017), acclaimed by the literary critics, were nominated for the most prestigious prize of the German literary world, Deutscher Buchpreis. Gerhard Falkner lives in Berlin and in Bavaria.

Maria Laina (Greece)

Maria Laina was born in Patras (Greece) in 1947. She graduated law school of Athens. She has worked in editing, translating, and teaching modern Greek language and literature for fifteen years at american colleges in Greece. She produced and broadcasted literature programmes for radio and written scripts for television. She has published nine plays (three of them monologues) and eight collections of poetry. She has received six awards: National Award for Poetry in 1993. Cavafis award in 1996. Maria Callas Award by the national Radio in 1998. Honorary distinction by the University of Patras in 1914.: Unanimous Award by the Academy of Greece for the whole of her poetic work in 1914. A collection of her poetry translated into German was given the award of the city of Munich in 1995.

Her plays have been performed on central stages in Athens, Τhessaloniki and elsewhere and her poetry has been translated in most European languages and presented in international poetry festivals (in Jerusalem, Berlin, New York, London, Stockholm, Munich, Prinston, Majorka, just to mention some). She has translated Katherine Mansfield, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Edith Wharton, Patricia Highsmith, Charlotte Bronté, Tennessee Williams amongst others, and has edited an anthology of 20th century poets (a selection of translations into greek)

Goran Djordjevic (Serbia)

Goran Djordjevic was born at Kolari near Smederevo on May 16, 1952. He finished primary and secondary school in Smederevo, and the studies of Yugoslav Literatures and Serbo-Croatian Language in Belgrade.

He writes poems, literary criticism, and papers on literary history. Collections of poetry: Početak nedelje – The Beginning of the Week (1984), 29. april – April 29 (1985, 1995), Rasuta zemlja – Scattered Earth (1997, 1998, and 1999), in Romanian (1998), in Slovak (2001), Sentandreja i druge pesme – Szentendre and other Poems (2007), Smederevo, sedam pesama na sedam jezika sa sedam crteža – Smederevo, Seven Poems in Seven Languages with Seven Drawings (2009), Raskršća – Crossways, in Italian (2009).

He has edited the monograph Pesnički ključ Smedereva, 25 godina festivala Smederevska pesnička jesen – The Poetic Key of Smederevo, 25 Years of the Smederevo Autumn Festival of Poetry (1994), Izbor iz stvaralaštva za decu Branislava Nušića – The Selection of Branislav Nusic's Works for Children (1997), Dela Vaska Pope – The Works of Vasco Popa (2007). His poems have been published in more than twenty anthologies at home and abroad, and they have been translated into: English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Slovak, Armenian, Polish, Chinese, Greek, Macedonian and Turkish.

Major awards: The Smederevo Award (1984, 1999), The Srboljub Matic Award (1998), The Vuk Prize (2006), The Milan Rakic Award for the best book of poetry (2008), The Charter of St Sava (2009), The Pen of Despot Stefan Lazarevic (2009).

He has been director of the Smederevo Poetic Autumn international festival of poetry, and editor of the bilingual poetic books under the common title Meridians.

He lives in Smederevo.

Translated by Lazar Macura

Madara Gruntmane (Latvia)

Madara Gruntmane (1981) is a poet and recipient of 2015 Latvian Literature Readers’ Choice Award for her book Narkozes [Narcoses] and the 2019 Public Broadcasting Award for her second poetry volume Dzērājmeitiņa [Drunk Daddy’s Girl], she often presents at international literary festivals. She also works with creative collectives to produce cultural arts events throughout Latvia. She has been awarded as the Honorary Writing Fellow at Iowa University’s International Writing Program(US). Currently working on her third book.

• Publication in magazine "Chronicles of the there and there " (Autumn 2019,
• Publication in magazine "Orlando" (November 2019, Turkey)
• Resident of The International Writing Program, Iowa city, Iowa, US
• Performance in FIGEE Art Museum , Davenport
• Performance in Words Dance: An IWP and UI Dance Collaboration
• Reading in New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
• Reading in IWP Shambaugh House Friday Reading Series, Iowa city
• Participation in Iowa city Book Festival
• Music album "Simultaneous translation" with Maris Sverns
• Participation in the Europian Poetry Festival, Riverbank Arts Center, Kildare,
• Participation in the International Poetry Festival "Transpoésie"
in Brussels
• Publication in magazine "Kultūras zīmes"
• Performance in the cultural centre "Noass"
• Performance at the Liepaja History Museum
• Performance in the cultural centre "Hagenskalna Commune"
• Participation in the International Poetry Festival in Birmingham
• Residency at Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby
• concept and producing of poetry readings "I, You, They" during Poetry days
in Jurmala
• Concept and producing of poetry readings "Poets and other animals" in Riga
• Participation in London Book Fair 2017
• Participation in the Literature Across Frontiers Cooling Workshop in
Aberystwyth, Wales
• Readings at the RICH MIX Cultural Center in London
• Readings at Aberystwyth University in Wales
• Performance at the “Trio Nyx” concert at the Latvian National Library
• Performance at the concert of the chamber ensemble “Altera Veritas” at the
Latvian National Library
• Reading in the Contemporary Culture Forum White Night
• Residency at International Writers and Translators' House in Ventspils
• concept and producing of female poetry readings "" in contemporary
art festival “White Night”
• Participation in the poetry workshop of the International Graphic Festival
"Printmaking IN"
• Participation in the Creative Summer Creative Classroom
• Publication in the newspaper "Kurzemes vārds"
• Participation in Poetry festival in Riga and Liepaja.
• Publication on the portal ""
• Publication in the publication "Latvian Texts".

Hadaa Sendoo (Mongolia)

Hadaa Sendoo (born.1961), who from an artistic family, the father was a director in the theater and the mother was an actor. He is the founder of World Poetry Almanac and one of leading figure in world poetry. He has published more than 19 books of poetry and his poems has translated into more than 40 languages. He has won awards for poetry in Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Arab countries. Hadaa Sendoo’s influence transcends national, politics, languages and borders and he is included in the Greatest Poets of All Time as well as the Best Poets of the 20th Century. He lives in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia