Visegrad Literary Residences – autumn 2018

The September aura of the passing summer is always enlivened at the Villa Decius by the presence of new literary scholarship holders who begin their residential stays. We started the autumn series of literary residencies on September 1 with the arrival of six artists who will spend the coming months in Krakow as part of two international residency programs: the Visegrad Literary Residencies and the Krakow Residency Program of the UNESCO City of Literature. Over the next weeks, the scholarship holders will not only implement their individual creative projects in Krakow, but will also become part of Krakow’s literary life, taking part in festivals and literary events.

Jan Váňa (Czech Repulic)

Writer, sociologist and publicist. PhD student in sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Masaryk University in Brno. His main area of interest is the sociology of literature and cultural aspects of post-communist transformation. As a writer, he tries to combine critical sociological thinking with literary fiction, touching on social issues in his stories, novels and poems. He argues that all literature is by definition engaged and should not hide it, otherwise it preserves the status quo and the inequalities that exist within it. He has published poems and short stories in several Czech literary magazines (HOST, Tvar, Weles), and in 2016 one of his poems was selected for the annual publication Best Czech Poems (HOST). In December 2017, he published a volume of poetry called Horizon of Expectations (Weles). Currently working on a collection of short stories.

Zoltán Lesi (Hungary)

Born in 1982 in Gyuli, Hungary. He lives and works in Vienna and Budapest. In the years 2001-2006 he studied software engineering at the University of Szeged, and his master’s thesis was about software that analyzes lines. He has published two books of poetry: Daphnis ketskéi (“Dafne the Goat”, FISZ, 2009) and Merül (“Diving”, JAK-Prae, 2014), as well as a children’s book Karton és Matild – A zombimentők (“Karton and Matild – Zombie saviors “, Móra Publishing House, 2017). His poems have been translated into German, English, Serbian and Polish, and he translates German and Austrian literature and organizes an exchange program between Austrian and Hungarian writers. He is also the editor of the popular Worldliterature series, published by Jelenkor Publishing House and Young Writers Associations. In 2016, he was awarded scholarships by Zsigmond Móricz, Mihály Babits and Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Eva Lukáčová (Slovakia)

Poet and writer. She studied English and Japanese at Comenius University in Bratislava, before spending the next 10 years in Japan, studying Japanese literature and obtaining a PhD from Osaka University. She has published three volumes of poetry, Divosestra (“The Wild Sister”, 1999), Diabloň (“Diabłoń”, 2005) and Havranjel (“The Ravenclaw”, 2011) and a fantasy saga for children entitled Pani Kurčaťová (“The Chicken Lady”, 2018), which she titled with your own illustrations.

Paweł Pieniążek (Poland)

Journalist. He reported on protests in Russia and Ukraine, the war in Donbas, the immigrant crisis and the Kurds’ fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He cooperated with major Polish media, such as, Gazeta Wyborcza, Newsweek, Polityka and Tygodnik Powszechny. A 2015 recipient of the Poynter Fellowship at Yale University, Paweł is the author of two non-fiction books: The War That Changed Us and Greetings from Novorossiya (also published in English as ‘Greetings from Novorossiya’, with a foreword by Professor Timothy Snyder) . He is currently working on a book about the odor in Syria, which will be published in 2019.

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